There has been a lot of talk in recent months about optical fiber : user demand is growing, offers are multiplying and the battle for the construction of fiber infrastructures is ever more heated. But what really is the fiber connection , and how it differs from the most common connection to date, the ADSL
In this article we will try to clarify the subject, in order to help you understand whether to subscribe to an offer in fiber is the right choice for you. In case at the end of the reading you are interested in subscribing to a fiber offer, do not forget to check coverage firstreached by this technology in your Municipality of residence: you can do it by clicking here, where you can also compare the various subscription solutions proposed by the main operators for your area. ADSL connection: how it works
ADSL uses the copper pair that connects the user’s home to the telephone exchange for data transmission ; it therefore does not need new infrastructures to function, as it uses the existing ones for the telephone network. In fact, telephone traffic uses only a small part of the passband guaranteed by the copper pair: ADSL technologyit exploits the one that ‘advances’, dividing the frequencies dedicated to speech (the lowest) from those used for the internet (the highest). It also divides the bandwidth asymmetrically (the “A” in ADSL stands for “asymmetric”): the greater the one dedicated to the download, the lower that for the upload. Operation of the fiber connection
The optical fiber instead transmits data through glass filaments, contained within a protection, through which a light signal passes. It is therefore a technology that needs its own infrastructure, which is gradually spreading also in Italy. There are at least four different types of fiber connections; from fastest to slowest we have:
- FTTH (fiber-to-the-home): cables arrive directly inside the home or office;
- FTTB (fiber-to-the-building): the fiber reaches the base of the building , covering only the very last stretch with the copper pair or other types of cabling;
- FTTC (fiber-to-the-cabinet): the fiber connection stops at an external cabin within a few hundred meters from the building served;
- FTTN (fiber-to-the-node): a long section of the route remains in copper wire, because the fiber cables reach the line stage of the telephone network, i.e. generally several kilometers from the customer.
Differences between ADSL and fiber
The most important difference between the two technologies is in the transmission speed: the copper cable is able to guarantee a maximum speed of about 20 mega, while the optical fiber can potentially even reach 1 Giga in download.
It is also necessary to consider how fiber cables are in general more reliable and resistant: unlike copper pairs, in fact, they are almost completely unaffected by electromagnetic interference, adverse weather conditions, temperature variations.
For the current needs of an average family, a good ADSL linein any case it is still more than sufficient to guarantee stable and fast navigation; ADSL moreover enjoys a much more widespread diffusion on the national territory, and is generally cheaper than its competitor in glass filaments. That said, there is no doubt: speed and efficiency make fiber the technology of the future.