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A hybrid fiber coax network, commonly known as a hybrid fiber-coaxial (HFC) is a term for a high speed internet network that utilizes both optical and coaxial cable. An optical fiber is a small, glass fiber that allows for transmission over long distances and high bandwidths. On the other hand, a coaxial cable is a fiber with a copper core placed in a rubber tube, and is commonly used for radio transmissions. When combined, the HFC is able to perform at higher levels and support at large amount of traffic. Thus, the term “hybrid” comes from the use of these two cables.
How does Hybrid Fiber Coax Networks Work?
A HFC network allows a cable company to install optical cables at the main service provider center. These optical cables then connect to distributing centers that are in close proximity to the customer’s homes and businesses. From these distributing centers, coaxial cables are then connected to the clients, forming a network that utilizes both optical and coaxial cables. Many companies are upgrading their systems to hybrid fiber coax networks to take advantage of both optical and coaxial cables.
Hybrid fiber coax networks use frequency division multiplexing in order to deliver services to its customer. Frequency division multiplexing is the type of signal multiplexing to send non-overlapping frequency ranges to a signal. Using this technique, HFC networks are able to give clients access to cable television, telephone services and broadband internet.
Benefits of Hybrid Fiber Coax Networks
More companies are turning to hybrid fiber coax networks because of the variety of advantages it provides. Much of the benefits of hybrid fiber coax networks derive from the combination of optical and coaxial fibers. For example, optic cables supplement coaxial cables in supporting more data and information, and allows for transmission back and forth. In addition, optical cables allow the HFC network to become more reliable; an important characteristic for any broadband network.
Another benefit of using HFC networks is that it allows companies with offices in different locations to more easily interact with each other, lending to increased connectivity. Finally, an advantage of HFC networks is the relatively simple installation it requires. Many companies have a system in place that utilizes coaxial cables. However, HFC networks integrate with the system already in place, allowing companies to save on time and costs.