Glossary of Terms


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The telecommunications and fiber industries are full of terms and acronyms. Our glossary of terms attempts to capture some of them.

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Fast Ethernet: A network transmission standard that provides a data rate of 100 Mbps.

Fiber Optic Splice Case (FOSC): A protective case at a splicing point. CAPs or SSBs are a type of FOSC.

Fiber to the "Whatever" (FTTx): A generic term used to encompass the entire family of fiber networks.

Fiber to the Building (FTTB): One of the families of fiber networks characterized by fiber delivery to a demarcation on or in the building with distribution to multiple tenants within the building through copper or wireless technologies.

Fiber to the Curb (FTTC): One of the families of fiber networks characterized by fiber deliver to the curb. Sometimes FTTC hands the curb to home connection to a copper or wireless technology. Other times, FTTC is simply a place holder with fiber continuing to the address once the address subscribes to service.

Fiber to the Home (FTTH): One of the families of fiber networks characterized by fiber delivery to the home. FTTH is sometimes used synonymously with FTTP.

Fiber to the Node (FTTN): A high-capacity bandwidth approach that uses both fiber and copper wires. Optical fiber is used from the core of the telco or CATV network to an intelligent node in the neighborhood where copper wire is used for the connection to the end-user, with one node serving perhaps many residences or small businesses. The few 100 meters or so of the local loop from the node to the premises generally is either unshielded twisted pair (UTP) in a telco application or coaxial cable (coax) in an HFC application, although some form of wireless technology is also possible. Known as Fiber to the Neighborhood, or Fiber to the Cabinet (FTTCab), as well.

Fiber to the Premises (FTTP): A fiber-deployment architecture in which optical fiber extends all the way to the customer's premise. Also known as Fiber to the Home (FTTH) or Fiber to the Building (FTTB). Typically using PON for residential deployments.

FiOS: See Verizon Fiber Optic System.

Fisher-Pry Model: A mathematical model used to forecast technology adoption when substitution is driven by superior technology where the new product or service presents some technological advantage over the old one.

Fixed Wireless: Wireless service that uses fixed CPE in addition to (or, possibly, even instead of ) mobile portable devices to deliver data services. Fixed wireless solutions have been deployed as a substitute for wired access technologies. For example, it is being used commercially in the U.S. by Clearwire with WiMAX and Stelera with HSPA, and globally by Telstra with HSPA.

Footprint: A service area. Usually consisting of about 900 addresses.

FOSC: See Fiber Optic Splice Case.

Franchise: A cable company wishing to provide television services in a community historically signed a franchise agreement with the municipal government. The agreement would specify what the community would receive from the cable company in return for access to rights of way (such as telephone poles and limited public easement space).

FTTB: See Fiber to the Building.

FTTC: See Fiber to the Curb.

FTTH: See Fiber to the Home.

FTTN: See Fiber to the Node.

FTTP: See Fiber to the Premises.

FTTx: See Fiber to the "Whatever".

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