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Chapter 3. Residential Broadband Interne... > HYBRID FIBER-COAX (HFC) TECHNOLOGIES

HYBRID FIBER-COAX (HFC) TECHNOLOGIES

Hybrid fiber-coax (HFC) technology refers to any network configuration of fiber-optic and coaxial cable that may be used to redistribute a variety of broadband entertainment services. These broadband services include telephony, interactive multimedia, high speed Internet access, video-on-demand, and distance learning. The types of services provided to consumers will vary among cable companies.

Many of the major cable television companies in the United States, Europe, Latin America, and Southeast Asia are already using it. Networks built using HFC technology have many characteristics that make it ideal for handling the next generation of communication services. First and foremost, HFC networks can simultaneously transmit broadband analog and digital services. Additionally, HFC meets the capacity and reliability requirements of new digital data services. HFC's expandable capacity allows network operators to add services incrementally without major changes to the overall plant infrastructure. HFC is essentially a "pay as you go" architecture that matches infrastructure investment with new revenue streams, operational savings, and reliability enhancements. The HFC network architecture consists of fiber transmitters, optical nodes, coaxial cables, and distribution hubs. The architecture of an HFC system required to deliver data services to a home network is illustrated in Figure 3.2.


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