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The meaning of broadband connection is in continuous evolution. FTTH and ever-improving ADSL technologies are capable of offering to the final residential user a very-high-performance access network connection to the main door of our homes. At the same time, high-definition and interactive video will require higher and higher bit rates inside the home. Both drivers lead to the requirement for high-quality networking also inside homes, to avoid a somehow ironic, but indeed possible situation in which the home area network becomes the actual bottleneck of the full system. In this article we review the requirements for next-generation HANs and show that this environment may end up taking advantage of optical cabling solutions as an alternative to more traditional copper or pure wireless approaches.
Date of Publication: February 2010