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The rising performance of broadband connections for residential users, particularly in conjunction with fiber to the home, will present a new challenge for telecom operators in the short and medium terms: how to deliver the high bit rate digital signals with high quality-of-service to all consumer devices scattered inside the building of final users? Among the many different solutions for the home network, we review in this article the use of polymer optical fibers for short-reach and high-capacity optical communications for residential customer premises. POF is an easy-to-install, low-cost, and eye-safe solution for these networks, with the potential of being future-proof. In this article the state of the art in POF technology is presented by summarizing significant results achieved in the European project POF-ALL. Data transmission rates of more than 1 Gb/s over 50+ m and 100 Mb/s over 200+ m of standard step-index POF have been shown.
Date of Publication: August 2009