Fibre-to-the-node is the next generation of broadband technology up from the ADSL broadband services common today, but a step behind FTTP. Rather than connecting the fibre all the way to people’s homes or businesses, it connects it from the exchange to mini-exchanges or ‘nodes’ in the street, and then uses the last part of the copper line into the home to make the final connection. Modern VDSL technology sits in the node which helps deliver speeds of up to 50Mbps over the copper – which diminish the further away the home gets from the node. The node is then connected via fibre back to the exchange. By contrast, ADSL technology uses the copper all the way back to the exchange, and can only support speeds of up to 20Mbps. Also, the further away from the exchange the home is, the slower the service.
By Alcatel-Lucent Asia-Pacific director of Innovation, Geof Heydon