With a so-called Fibre Node, the network provider uses one of several possibilities to provide telecommunication services to end users via optical fibre. The Fibre Node serves as media converter from the glass infrastructure coming from the provider to the coaxial infrastructure leading to the subscriber. One of the great advantages of Fibre Nodes is the possibility to transmit broadcasting TV and data services over long distances using efficient fibre optic lines. The remaining distance between node and individual subscriber line, often referred to as "Last Mile" or network level 4 service, can be realized in the traditional way via coaxial cable. This is exactly what cable network operators have been implementing for two decades: a supply of broadcast TV in combination with DOCSIS cable modem broadband IP services. The Fibre Node is the hybrid device that is connected on one side to the optical fibre network and on the other side to the coaxial cable network.
As the number of FTTH/FTTB fiber optic networks is increasing, the Fiber Node is experiencing a renaissance in broadband data architecture, such as PtP Ethernet or GPON/EPON networks. For these systems, data is sent as an IP data stream over optical fiber, whereby broadcast TV is either multiplexed on the same fiber with a different wavelength, or alternatively on a separate fiber (e.g. PtP Ethernet). In such FTTH installations, fiber nodes supply individual single-family homes or apartments. In FTTB installations, fibre nodes are connected to existing coaxial networks within a building and provide the end user with analogue and digital TV (DVB-C, etc.), in parallel to IP based FTTH/FTTB data transmission technologies.
With the help of the ASTRO Fibre Node product portfolio, network operators are enabled to create any network architecture and provide their customers with a reliable service. All products can be used in both "DOCSIS" and "FTTH RF-Overlay" networks. Available devices range from small, compact Fibre Nodes for receiving TV for FTTH networks, to medium-sized Fibre Nodes for FTTB applications, to nodes for traditional cable operators with integrated return path transmitter for FTTB/FTTC networks.