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Fiber to the home: the next big broadband thing

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1 Author(s)

This article is a progress report on the use of optical fiber as a successor to copper twisted pair of coax for "last mile" broadband access. We point out that the pressures for more per-user bandwidth are growing; that effective architectures have been designed, standardized, and placed in service; that fiber economies have become at least competitive with copper; and that promising early deployments have succeeded, particularly outside North America. As for North America, which lags the rest of the world in per-capita fiber access deployment, we note that there is already a modest "first wave" of deployments, but the full promise of fiber to the premises awaits a change of heart by the major carriers, probably driven by loss of copper-based broadband customers to the cable companies, user bandwidth growth (including HDTV), and issues of international competitiveness.

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Communications Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:42 ,  Issue: 9 )