Brief introduction of FTTD fiber to the desk


1. What is FTTD fiber to the desktop?

FTTD Fiber to the desktop means that the optical fiber replaces the traditional copper cable transmission medium and directly extends to the user terminal computer, so that the user terminal can realize the network access through the optical fiber throughout the whole process, and realize the true “full fiber network” in the whole process. Following the large-scale construction of fiber-to-the-home (FTTH), fiber is further advanced to the user side, and it is necessary to solve the problem of the last 100 meters of fiber to realize the fiber-to-the-desktop (FTTD) final network solution.

2. What’s the Difference Between FTTD, FTTCab, FTTC, FTTB, FTTH, & FTTP, FTTN?

FTTx is Fiber To The x, which is a general term for fiber access in fiber optic communications, where x represents the destination of the fiber optic line.

  • FTTD: Fiber To The Desktop
  • FTTCab: Fiber To The Cabinet
  • FTTC: Fiber To The Curb
  • FTTB: Fiber To The Building
  • FTTH: Fiber To The Home
  • FTTP: Fiber To The Premise
  • FTTN: Fiber to the Node
  • FTTR: Fiber to the room


3. Copper to the desktop versus fiber to the desktop

3.1 Fiber to the desktop architecture improves the scattered, messy, and poor status of the copper to the desktop architecture

  • Copper to the desktop architecture
    Stacked architecture: bandwidth wastes 1G bandwidth per port; during peak hours, the effective utilization of egress bandwidth is <60%
    Hierarchical chaos: hierarchies increase with scale, complex and chaotic
    Complex maintenance: upper-layer devices cannot manage lower-layer devices, and manual management is difficult
    Difficulty in upgrading: new personnel, decreasing bandwidth; upgrading bandwidth network requires redeployment
  • Fiber to the desktop architecture
    Bandwidth guarantee: single PON port 2.5G bandwidth; during peak hours, the effective utilization rate of export bandwidth is >92%
    Clear hierarchy: coverage area & number of users do not affect the secondary structure
    Simple maintenance: OND network maintenance-free; OLT directly manages ONU
    Smooth upgrade: bandwidth expansion on demand; 1G→10G, no need to change all-optical network

3.2 Future bandwidth upgrade is the difference between convenience and transmission distance

  • Copper to the desktop
    The traditional copper wire network needs to be upgraded every time the bandwidth is upgraded, such as 10M Cat3>10OM Cat5>1G Cat6
    The copper wire is heavy and bulky. The extension and expansion of customers need to re-plan the network.
  • Fiber to the desktop
    Optical fiber in one step, GPON, 10GPON and future 4OGPON share ODN network and optical fiber to achieve smooth upgrade and save investment.
    The optical cable is made of non-metallic materials, environmentally friendly, free from electromagnetic interference in transmission, light in weight, small in size and 1Tbps in bandwidth, resistant to tension and bending, and easier to construct. It is safer, not easy to corrode.copper VS fiber

3.3 Differences in the use and service life of the machine room and bridge space

  • Weight: fiber to the desktop equipment: about 142kg, copper to the desktop twisted pair about 2597kg
  • Service life: about 30 years for optical fiber, about 10 years for copper cable
  • Transmission distance: fiber coverage is about 20km, copper cable coverage is 100m

fiber vs copper

4. Fiber to the desktop pros

With the development of optical communication technology and the complexity of the application environment, the advantages of optical fiber are becoming more and more obvious.

4.1 Excellent overall cost performance
The number of global fiber-to-the-home users is close to 700 million, and this huge scale effect makes the price of equipment and materials (OLT, optical splitter, fiber optic cable, ONU, etc.) related to PON (passive optical network) gradually decreased, while the price of copper wire materials increased year by year. Therefore, the cost performance of fiber-to-the-desk solutions derived from PON technology has been significantly better than that of copper Ethernet solutions.

4.2 Strong construction flexibility
The traditional wiring method must complete the laying of copper wires (network cables) at one time. The complex network structure leads to high construction costs and high upgrade and expansion costs; while FTTD can be implemented in the first stage (can save construction costs), can in projects where the demand is uncertain or the demand needs to be determined gradually, the micro-pipes are laid first, and then the micro-cable is blown. The number of micro-cable cores is 2 to 12 cores, and it can be easily re-blown as needed. Flexibility can avoid unnecessary waste caused by uncertain plans or upgrades, etc., and has a high comprehensive cost-effectiveness.

4.3 Optical fibers can support longer-distance, higher-bandwidth transmissions, up to 20 kilometers long.
OM4 multimode optical cable provides an effective mode bandwidth of at least 4700MHzkm at 850nm wavelength, an injection mode bandwidth of 3500MHzkm, and an injection mode bandwidth of at least 500MHzkm at 1300nm wavelength, all of which support 10Gbps serial transmission at up to 550m, and  40/100Gbps transmission at 150m or more. These are all things that copper cable systems cannot do.

4.4 FTTD is easy to maintain.
Fiber To The Desk FTTD adopts a point-to-point networking method, almost without any equipment in the middle, directly in the computer room. The entire link in the middle is completely passive, and a large number of network devices are reduced, realizing from complex to simple, from difficult to easy; fundamentally solving the difficulty of management and maintenance. When the transmission distance of the information point exceeds 100 meters, if the copper cable system is selected for wiring, it is necessary to increase the regional management room, increase the network equipment and wiring materials, and possibly increase the link failure points.

4.5 FTTD installation and construction costs are low.
The air-blown micro-cable technology reaches more than 100 meters per minute, more than 4,000 points, and is blown in one and a half days. The copper cable system has developed from Cat5 to Cat6A, and Cat7. In terms of structure, it is necessary to add a cross frame and a shielding layer (or even a double-layer shielding layer), so that the cable diameter becomes larger and larger. These are constantly increasing the cost of copper cable installation and construction.


4.6 Save 60% of the bridge.
Copper cable takes up a lot of bridge space and equipment room space. However, the indoor optical fiber is only one-third the diameter of the super five, and it is easy to pass through the pipe and pull the cable, which greatly saves the space of the bridge and the equipment room.

4.7 FTTD fiber cable has a long service life.
Optical fiber has a wide temperature range, chemical resistance, and longer service life, about 30 years, while copper wire is about 10 years old.

4.8 FTTD has good confidentiality.
Optical fiber is a non-metallic substance, and data is transmitted on light waves, which can avoid external electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio frequency interference (RFI), such as in some special wiring environments: air-conditioning equipment rooms, medical equipment rooms in hospitals, machinery manufacturing plants, etc.; There is no crosstalk between them, and the signal will not be leaked to the outside world, which plays a very good role in confidentiality.

4.9 FTTD work performance is stable and reliable.
Wide range of ambient temperature; no electricity for communication, can be used in flammable and violent places, safe to use; chemical corrosion resistance, long service life. Different sheath materials and internal structures are used to cope with different harsh environments.

5. Fiber to the desktop cons
Until today, FTTD fiber-to-the-desktop technology has not been widely adopted. On the whole, it is mainly caused by the following two cons:

5.1 The fiber material is fragile.
The raw material of optical fiber is the same as glass, the main material is silica, which is characterized by poor flexibility and is easily broken or broken when squeezed or bent by external force. Therefore, during the construction of the optical cable, if excessive force, side pressure or foot pedal is used, the optical fiber may be broken or “micro-cracks”, which will cause the optical fiber line to fail, or the communication effect will be affected due to the excessive attenuation of the optical signal.

5.2 Optical terminal equipment is inconvenient to install
The vast majority of terminal devices are electrical interfaces. After the optical fiber is laid on the desktop, the optical signal must be converted into an electrical signal; the photoelectric conversion devices currently used in the optical fiber to the desktop are mainly optical network cards and photoelectric converters. However, notebook computers often need to plug and unplug jumpers, which is easy to cause damage to the fiber optic jumpers. Or use photoelectric converter + RJ45 twisted pair network card as the interface for data transmission.


6. FTTD Fiber To The Desk solution

The FTTD Fiber To The Desk cabling scheme belongs to the overall FTTX system category. FTTD is a high-level scheme of the cabling system. The well-known optical fiber in the industry has been widely concerned for its excellent transmission performance as a transmission medium. Today, with the rapid development of FTTX access network, especially the development of FTTH network construction, due to the effect of large-scale production in the overall industry, the marginal cost of optical device products continues to decline, especially in the optical transceiver (SFP), which accounts for an important proportion of cost. The market price has been declining linearly year by year. The industrial environment of the optical communication market is constantly changing, and it will also affect the growth rate of FTTD applications. Under such a market background, the introduction of a professional and characteristic FTTD cabling scheme will help to achieve its own competitive advantage in the upcoming new round of cabling pattern dominated by optical products.


Because the terminal equipment of the single-mode optical cable is very expensive, unless the engineering project requires it, the single-mode optical fiber system is rarely used in FTTD. At present, the OM2 optical fiber system is widely used, which can support a transmission distance of 550 meters in the Gigabit Ethernet system, and can meet any long-distance transmission in the building. However, with the rapid development of network speed, from the 10/100Mbps Ethernet in the mid-1990s to the popular application of 1000Mbps Ethernet in the early 2000s, to the current 10Gbps Ethernet application, in just a few years, the network speed has grown rapidly.  The cabling system generally needs to meet the application of the next 10 to 15 years. Therefore, in order to expand and upgrade the network in the future, more and more customers are using multi-mode 10 Gigabit OM3 (50/125um) optical fiber systems. The OM3 fiber optic system can support the long-distance transmission of 300 meters in 10 Gigabit Ethernet applications.

At present, the desktop 10 Gigabit building cabling projects mostly use Cat6A system cabling, mainly for two reasons: first, the popular use of desktop Rj45 Ethernet card interfaces; second, relatively speaking, the single price of copper cables is cheaper than that of fiber optic products. However, through the introduction of the advantages of optical fibers above, we recommend that customers use multi-mode 10 Gigabit OM3 optical fiber system wiring. For the first reason, we can solve it in two ways: using optical fiber interface network card for office equipment or using photoelectric converter to change the optical interface to a general Rj45 interface. For the second reason: the simple multi-mode 10 Gigabit OM3 fiber optic cabling system is actually not much more expensive than the Cat6A copper cabling system. As we all know, with the continuous mining of human beings, the non-ferrous metal copper materials on the earth will become more and more scarce, resulting in the continuous rise of copper prices. The changes in the weight and volume of the Cat6A twisted pair invisibly add extra costs, such as raw material cost, transportation cost and installation additional material cost, etc. However, silica, the transmission medium of optical fibers, is a renewable material, and now plastic optical fibers have been developed, which greatly satisfies a large number of applications in our future. Moreover, with the popularization of desktop optical ports and more and more people using them, the price of optical terminal equipment will gradually drop.


7. Here is the introduction of FTTD fiber-to-the-desk fiber optic cabling products

7.1 Indoor multimode 10 Gigabit OM3 optical Cable

In optical fiber communication, usually, 1 core is received and 1 core is sent, and only 2 cores are needed. However, it is more recommended to use 4 cores, because the other 2 cores can be used as a backup, which is also convenient for the expansion of the number of information points in the future.

Bonelinks’ indoor optical cable is small in diameter and light in weight, which improves construction efficiency; high fiber density saves pipe hole resources; aramid fiber is stretch-resistant and reduces the construction failure rate. Low smoke zero halogen LSZH sheath material has the advantages of high flame retardancy, less smoke, odorless, and non-toxic. Multimode 10 Gigabit OM3 optical cable minimum transmission bandwidth: 1500MHz/km@850nm, 50OMHz/km@1300nm; transmission distance: 1000BASE-SX reaches 1000 meters, 10GBASE-S reaches 300 meters.

GJPFJH Breakout Tight Buffer Fiber Optical Cable Indoor Distribution Cable


7.2 Quick fiber connector

If the traditional optical fiber fusion splicing method is used, the installation space of the panel bottom box is not deep enough to ensure the fusion performance of the optical fiber, which may lead to unstable network communication, and the fusion splicing construction time is long. Bonelinks’ quick fiber optic connectors are primarily used for fiber-to-the-desk FTTDs. The quick optical fiber connector has pre-embedded optical fibers, no need for gluing and grinding, and only needs to be crimped with the tools to complete the optical fiber connection, which greatly reduces the complexity of optical fiber termination and saves the time of optical fiber termination; especially it can be repeated repeatedly. Termination, improve the utilization rate of the fiber head, and greatly save the cost. The quick fiber optic connector is smaller than ordinary connectors, which is convenient for wall and desktop installation. The insertion loss can reach 0.3dB, and its performance meets international standards. At the same time, it meets the requirements of the RoHS standard.

7.3 Modular optical distribution frame

The modular design of Bonelinks’s optical distribution frame allows a single fiber optic coupler to be independently loaded and unloaded from the front of the distribution frame, or the bracket can be pulled forward as a whole, so that all installation, management and maintenance work can be completed at the front of the distribution frame. At the same time, it supports the mixed installation of all copper modules and different types of optical fiber adapters (ST/SC/LC). It can accommodate 24 copper modules or 48-core optical fiber splicing in 10 spaces, which reduces the installation space of the cabinet and saves cost of the project. The individually detachable mounts are available in a variety of colors, such as dark blue, light blue, yellow, red, gray, etc. Through color management, more convenient maintenance and management are realized. For example, for government agency projects, different colors can be used for different networks, such as external networks, intranet, private networks, backup networks, etc., and realize maintenance and management. For exhibition center projects, different colors can be used for different floors or functions and realize regional classification management.

With the vigorous development of optical communication, the price and cost of optical fibers have gradually decreased, and the installation and construction of optical fibers have become increasingly simple and convenient, coupled with the advantages of high optical fiber bandwidth, long transmission distance, no external electromagnetic interference, and prevention of signal leakage. FTTD fiber-to-the-desk solutions are increasingly favored by customers.

8. Application

Some units with high requirements on bandwidth and security, such as public security, financial units, military units, medical and health industries, and even some large enterprises and institutions, have begun to have a high demand for the construction of fiber-to-the-desk networks.

As an upgrade solution for traditional copper wire LAN, it can also be widely used in hospitals, schools, hotels, commercial buildings, commercial complexes, science and technology parks, industrial parks, residential quarters and other building groups’ information network construction.

commercial building

 9. Summary

FTTD fiber to the desktop is an inevitable development trend. With the continuous emergence of new technologies such as Web3.0, GIS, BIM, and Meta, all walks of life will inevitably put forward higher and higher requirements for network bandwidth, network stability, and low network latency. FTTD fiber is a new generation of integrated wiring systems, the FTTD fiber-to-the-desk solution will show its strong vitality.

Bonelinks FTTD fiber-to-the-desk solution is the inheritance and innovation of the POL network. Through a series of product innovations, it solves the problem of large-scale popularization and truly realizes fiber-to-the-desktop (FTTD) technology. The optical cable, fiber optic wall plate, PoE media converter and some other fiber optics used in FTTD are available. If you have any needs or questions, please contact us.

Echo Huang

Echo Huang is an expert wordsmith and marketing professional at Bonelinks with more than 8 years of experience in high technology businesses – fiber optics, IoT, and telecommunication. She is very glad to share industry knowledge and communicate with others.

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