Fibre in the Home

By George Babinov, SBS expert.

Nowadays, FTTH (Fibre-To-The-Home) is a new acronym many people are becoming familiar with. There is no Telco or Internet Service Provider in Europe that is not offering to deliver high bandwidth/bit rate information to the home via single mode fibre optic cable. With the FTTH deployments, it is now possible to deliver rich contents up to the user’s door. The expected evolution of services, such as High Definition quality IPTV, multi-room/multi-vision configuration, using different channels seen in different rooms and high quality video communication via the TV set, requires a new approach in home area network (HAN) architecture.

The HAN should not represent a bottleneck for the new arising services and at the same time the residential network cabling should be easy, fast and cheap to deploy. In response to the new demands ETSI has finalised the ETSI TS 103 247 ’Singlemode Optical Fibre System Specifications for Home Cabling’. This Technical Specification defines the Singlemode cabling system for multiformat and multiservices optical HAN for interoperability among different suppliers.

The system comprises of the active optical elements, the cables, connectors and wall plugs. HAN evolution is driven mainly by the increasing bit rate to meet the requirements related to the richness of the contents and high interactivity, and the heterogeneity of the signals to be delivered. Actually, the most used HAN architecture is a single format active star network dedicated to services based on Ethernet or IP technology. Different HAN architectures are described in the document and are being considered as longer term solutions, such as the solution based on a passive star and CWDM technology, as shown in Fig. 1.


This solution will easily meet the needed bandwidth of the deployed FTTH, as well as the steadily increasing number of interconnected devices inside the home, implementing multi-Gigabit interfaces such as USB-3 (4,8 Gbit/s) or Thunderbolt (10 Gbit/s). Generally, with the “Connected Home”, several devices are connected together. The home network can be used to share multimedia contents not necessarily delivered in real time by access network, but using “download and play”, this content can be stored in a device inside the house to be used afterwards.

There are several European SMEs involved in the production of the Home Passive Optical Network components such as optical fibre wall outlets, optical filters and extenders and 16×16 optical splitters. So these specifications will support their work.