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Design Your Network with FTTH Network Architecture Solutions

Design Your Network with FTTH Network Architecture Solutions

In today's digital age, fast and reliable broadband is a necessity, and fiber-optic technology offers unparalleled speed and stability. Whether you are bringing broadband to a small rural community, a remote town, or upgrading a current network this page will provide you with insights, tips, and best practices to ensure your network is designed and optimized for the future.

Whether deploying Gigabit passive optical network (GPON), Ethernet passive optical network (EPON), radio frequency over glass (RFoG), or looking ahead to the next generation of PON technologies, a network operator must choose an architecture for the physical infrastructure. Within fiber networks, there are many options to consider, including the cost of materials and labor, time to deploy, and the fiber richness of each of the four common architecture types, outlined below.

Home Run Network Architecture

The Home Run architecture is an optimal choice for densely populated areas near a central office, offering the highest bandwidth capability and the easiest upgrade path. In this architecture, each subscriber is connected to the central office via an individual fiber, making it the most fiber-rich option with a 1:1 ratio throughout the network.  

While this network offers high flexibility and port efficiencies, it is worth noting that Home Run networks are the most expensive to build. This is due to the necessity for each potential end user location to have a dedicated fiber back to the signal source. The required optical cross-connect cabinets are also large, necessitating dedicated pad or pole space accommodations. 

Centralized Split Network Architecture

Centralized Split architecture is best suited for areas where a large central office serves concentrated pockets of homes. With this architecture, a dedicated fiber connects each subscriber to the local convergence cabinet, using lower-fiber-count feeder cables from the central office to the cabinet. This allows for rich fiber downstream to subscribers on a 1:1 basis.  

One of the key benefits of this set-up is the ease of changing split ratios and transport technologies. However, the centralized cabinets are large and require dedicated pad or pole space accommodations, and high-fiber-count cables exiting the cabinet can be costly due to the length of the distribution. 

Distributed Split Network Architecture

The Distributed Split architecture provides a leaner fiber solution, with a dedicated fiber drop cable connecting each subscriber to the closest splitter terminal access point. This setup reduces the number of fibers required and provides flexible split ratios with combinations of 2, 4, and 8 splitters.  

However, it's important to remember that this architecture removes dedicated fibers from each subscriber to a central location, which could limit future flexibility. Additionally, troubleshooting occurs at several split locations, as opposed to a single interconnection point. 

Distributed Tap Network Architecture

Distributed Tap architecture is an excellent choice for sparsely populated or fringe/landlocked areas where future growth is unlikely. In this setup, a dedicated fiber connects each subscriber to the splitter terminal, employing extremely low-fiber-count cables.  

Despite its advantages, this architecture requires more complex network planning to ensure sufficient signal reaches the last subscriber in sequence. Any disruption at a terminal impacts all downstream concatenated subscribers, and there's limited bandwidth flexibility for subscribers sharing a single optical line terminal.

Learn more about the different types of architecture and what is best for your network below, or download this document.
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