This chapter provides a review of factors driving technical development of broadband access networks, mostly toward higher bit rates and symmetrical services, together with a review of “fiber to the x” (FTTx) technologies for fixed access networks, including development and performance limitations of digital subscriber line (DSL) systems using twisted-pair copper cables, as well as fiber to the home systems. Characteristics and standardization of these systems are presented, together with a review of the two main competing broadband technologies: Data over cable service interface specification (DOCSIS) in coaxial cable TV networks and the 4G and 5G wireless networks. Additionally, a short list of recent developments in passive technologies (fibers, cables, and connectors) is included. Finally, the issues related to dismantling of the traditional copper telephone network and ensuring continuity of voice services in emergency situations are analyzed.
Part of the book: Broadband Communications Networks