The future technology for the internet. Currently, almost only households in larger cities can enjoy fiber optic internet access. But also at the municipal level, Deutsche Telekom and smaller, local internet providers are constantly pushing ahead with the expansion of the fiber optic network.
- These high data transmission rates of fiber optic make conventional DSL look old.
- Due to the high costs, the providers are joining forces to advance the Internet via fiber optics.
- The expansion of the fiber optic network has progressed continuously over the past few years.
- There is still a long way to go before every German household can use a fiber optic connection.
Glass fiber: as fast as light
According to information from Deutsche Telekom , transmission rates of 200 Mbit / s in upload (when uploading data into the network) and up to 1,000 Mbit / s in download (when downloading data from the network) should be achieved via fiber optics . These high data transfer rates make conventional DSL look old.
Real high-speed can be achieved with fiber optics, since the data is not transmitted via electrical impulses, as is the case with DSL in traditional copper cables, but with the help of light signals. In contrast to DSL, there is no loss of quality even over very long distances.
Fiber optic: network expansion
Due to the high costs, the providers are joining forces to advance the Internet via fiber optics. For example, Deutsche Telekom is cooperating with the Cologne network operator Netcologne. But other DSL and cable internet providers have now also recognized that there will be no way around more efficient networks in the future.
In addition to well-known network operators, Deutsche Glasfaser GmbH is also driving forward the expansion of the fiber-optic network.
High speed thanks to fiber optic data transmission at the speed of light
Glass fiber reaches completely new speed dimensions – the transmission rate is significantly higher than with a normal DSL connection (ADSL), which allows a maximum of 24 megabits per second (Mbit / s). Depending on the location and other factors, users can sometimes download or stream data with up to 1,000 Mbit / s via a fiber optic connection; When uploading, it can at least be up to a proud 200 Mbit / s.
Fiber optic connection – DSL, VDSL and fiber optics
The expansion of the fiber optic network has progressed continuously over the past few years. Often, however, a combination of copper and fiber optic cables is used used. With the classic ADSL connection, the switching center and the distribution box were still connected to each other exclusively by copper cables. From there, another copper cable led to the consumer. VDSL is faster there – a fiber optic cable connects the exchange and the cable distributor with one another, but the last section to the house is still made of copper. The high-speed Internet is even faster with a fully expanded fiber optic network: The fiber optic is used consistently from the exchange via the distribution box to (more or less close) to the house. Which solution is used for the last section up to the consumer differs depending on the telecommunications company.
FTTC, FTTB, FTTH – what does it mean?
According to abbreviationfinder, the abbreviations in the heading indicate which cables are used for the very last section to the house connection (“last mile”). FTTX (“Fiber to the x”) is the generic term for the various transmission paths.
FTTC (“Fiber to the Curb”)
FTTC (“Fiber to the Curb”) stands for a fiber optic line to the curb. With this technology, the last piece from the cable distributor to the customer must be bridged without fiber optics and instead using copper cables. A transmission rate of up to 100 Mbit / s is already possible using VDSL. The disadvantage of VDSL, however, is that the maximum transmission rate depends on the distance between the distributor and the house. From a distance of 2 kilometers, the speed is reduced to conventional DSL level.
FTTB (“Fiber to the Building”)
With FTTB (“Fiber to the Building”), the fiber optic cable leads to the house. The transmission rate remains constant, as copper cables are only used for the distance within the house (from the basement to the apartment). The distance between the building and the distribution box is irrelevant here. FTTB is mainly used in cities with apartment buildings or larger residential complexes.
FTTH (“Fiber to the Home”)
Absolute high-speed Internet, full HD television and fixed network calls of the highest quality – with FTTH (“Fiber to the Home”) customers enjoy the advantages of a consistently expanded fiber optic network. The connection between the exchange and the home router is made entirely via fiber optics, copper cables are no longer in use here. However, so that users can use the fiber optic connection and the associated high-speed Internet to the full extent on their home computer, the infrastructure within a household must be expanded accordingly. The abbreviation FTTD (“Fiber to the Desk”) is sometimes used in this context.
Fiber optic expansion in Germany is making slow progress
There is still a long way to go before every German household can use a fiber optic connection. In June 2016, only 1.6 percent of all broadband connections in Germany were based on fiber optic cable technology. However, it is not the technology that is responsible for the slow expansion, but the earthworks to be carried out, which entail high costs. At the moment, Telekom in particular is intensifying the expansion of fiber optic lines, and there are already some regional tariffs from various providers. But not only with the classic telephone companies or regional providers can Internet users fall back on the new fiber optic technology; Cable providers such as Kabel Deutschland also provide fiber optic tariffs that combine telephony and Internet use (including multimedia offers).
Demand bundling outside the big cities – 40 percent have to participate
The bundling of demand is a period of time defined by the provider Deutsche Glasfaser, during which the residents in the relevant connection area have the opportunity to apply for a fiber optic connection. By the respective deadline, at least 40 percent of the households that can be connected must submit an application so that the fiber-optic network can be laid in the entire area. Since providers such as Telekom are promoting the expansion of fiber optics in the centers of large cities, Deutsche Glasfaser is concentrating more on rural regions.
Alternative to fiber optic connection: vectoring
Data transmission via copper cables is to be significantly accelerated by means of vectoring. This new technology compensates for electromagnetic interference. These arise between the copper lines due to data traffic and external influences, which disrupts the flow of data and slows down the Internet speed. The costs and effort for vectoring are significantly lower than those for expanding the fiber optic network. In order to use vectoring, however, VDSL lines must be available, as the vectoring device is installed in corresponding distribution boxes. This means that the connection between the exchange and the cable distributor must already consist of fiber optic cables.
Fiber optic comparison: find the best tariffs
A fiber optic connection offers customers many advantages. However, when looking for the right provider and the cheapest tariff, consumers need to consider a few points. First of all, the availability of fiber optic technology in the region has to be checked; after all, this new technology is not yet very widespread in Germany. If the availability check was positive and a fiber optic connection is possible, the interested party can compare the various offers with regard to flat-rate options for landline telephony and Internet – also with regard to the minimum contract period and provision fee. Usually, due to the still small area of distribution of fiber optic technology, the consumer does not have a vast selection. Nevertheless, it is worthwhile, especially if you want to find the tariff with the best conditions, to use the offer calculator. This allows you to filter for flat rate options and / or certain minimum contract periods, for example.