Internet and networks

How to have optical fiber at 10 Gbps

10Gbps FTTH fiber optic connections are becoming increasingly popular with the areas served by the ever-expanding service. What it means to have a link of this type and how to actually exploit it.

Gigabit Society is a concept that refers to the situation in which broadband Internet connections are able to provide speeds of at least one Gigabit per second (Gbps) to all citizens, companies and institutions: every person should have access to a connection at high speed, regardless of geographical location.

The main objective of the Gigabit Society is to promote digital innovation and digital inclusion, ensuring theuniversal broadband access high speed. This is especially important in an age where many daily activities are increasingly dependent on the Internet connection which must provide high bandwidth, low latency, be stable and reliable.

AGCOM is looking at the concept of broadband as a universal service in Italy: however, these are prescriptions that only look at availability of the service of connectivity throughout the country, not to benefits. Suffice it to say that each user should be guaranteed a connection capable of providing at least 4 Mbps (Megabits per second).

And assist more incisive this time could come from Europe with the Gigabit Infrastructure Act which provides for the obligation to provide FTTH connectivity at at least 1 Gbps downstream in all new buildings.

The move from 1 Gbps to 10 Gbps for fiber optic connections

For some time now, also on the pages of, we have recorded the progressive launch on the market of offerte FTTH a 10 Gbps: an epochal step that introduces the concept of Gigabit per second at the level of a single client device and no more than a set of them. The novelty is the daughter of the deployment of fiber optic networks “future-proof” i.e. networks designed and built to be highly efficient, reliable and scalable, in order to guarantee optimal performance also in the future.

Technology PON (Passive Optical Network) it is used for access from a fixed location by both FiberCop and Open Fiber operators wholesale present in our country: it allows the creation of FTTH fiber optic network infrastructures in point-to-multipoint mode using only fiber and passive components.

Acronym of Gigabit Passive Optical Network, GPON is an active access technology for providing connectivity over FTTH PON infrastructures. It is active because it is implemented using active network elements (i.e. powered by the mains) such as OLT in the exchange and ONT (Optical Network Terminal) to end users. The underlying network infrastructure is instead passive, as we have already said, because it only uses elements that do not require power, such as splitter which allow the optical fiber to be separated into different links that branch out towards the subscribers’ buildings.

GPON technology is a “declination” of PON and is not the only one existing: in another article we saw the differences between GPON and EPON, the latter being chosen for example by Iliad.

We were saying that the technologies for PON optical access networks are “future-proof” as they also provide for a progressive increase in the bandwidth available for each customer. If, for example, with GPON you get 2.5 Gbps downstream to be shared among users on the same tree optical, with the XGS-PON standard telecom operators can offer up to 10Gbps symmetrical (downstream and upstream). These are the connection profiles that currently offer the widest range in Italy bandwidth in both directions. Waiting for the further leap forward that can be made with the 50G-PON technology, currently being tested both by FiberCop what about Open Fiber.

With the adjustment of the networks that is proceeding quickly, there are more and more operators offering offers fiber up to 10 Gbps in some Municipalities of Italy: in all cases the XGS-PON technology.

How to take advantage of a 10 Gbps connection

For years, the broadband connection sub-Gigabit it has always been and will be the main bottleneck for a long time to come, for many users, probably for the majority of citizens and businesses around the world. It doesn’t matter how fast it is network wifi that has been set up at home or in the office or how much performance a well-crafted Multigabit Ethernet network is: if the Internet connection does not go beyond 30, 30 or 100 Mbps downstream, you will not be able to download anything at higher speeds, from remote servers, even whether your network would allow for faster data transfers.

Consequently, it is always wrong to use an online speed test to measure e.g WiFi performance or the local Ethernet link. A LAN speed test instead it helps to verify how fast the WiFi really is because the control takes place exclusively locally, without relying on remote servers.

A connection to gang ultras from 10 Gbps revolutionizes the scenario because the Internet network and therefore the connection ultrabroadband they become faster than everything connected downstream within the local network. It really is possible have 10 Gbps internet connection side? As of today, no, it’s not physically possible. At least not strictly speaking. Let’s explain it.

At best, by activating a connection FTTH a 10 Gbpswe can only get close to the value of 10 Gbps because the network devices in use (starting from the network card) introduce a overhead and 10 Gbps is the maximum profile in terms of performance that any home and business router or switch can manage (presence of port 10 GbE10 Gigabit Ethernet).

To obtain a real speed of 10 Gbps and sustain it over time, it is necessary to have network equipment that allows the transfer of more than 10 Gbps on a single port: we will get there in the future but now it is still absolutely premature.

Let’s add another piece: current computers, for example, integrate network cards which in the best case reach 2.5 GbE (2.5 GbE): it is therefore not possible to get to exploit, with the single device, the 10 Gbps provided by the telecommunications operator. This is why we said earlier that the important concept is to bring 1 Gbps to the level of a single local device, which in turn is connected to a router ultrabroadband which supports XGS-PON and symmetrical 10 Gbps.

They will hit the market motherboards with an integrated 10GbE port; right now though, the only way to get 10Gbps on a computer is through an add-on PCIe ethernet adapter.

Lato WiFi the situation is more or less identical: even using WiFi 6E compatible routers and client devices, 2.4 Gbps is not exceeded. With device 4×4 Wi-Fi 6/6E you can theoretically reach 4.8 Gbps which, however, are less than half of the 10 Gbps offered by the ultra-broadband connection. Once again, we are faced with a bottleneck which effectively “castrates” the potential of the Internet connection: WiFi 7 should significantly change the situation, but it is still to be verified.

So if it is assumed that for take advantage of the 10 Gbps fiber connection it is necessary to have a router with at least a 10 GbE WAN port, on the other hand it is decidedly more complex for the moment to bring all 10 Gbps to the single device connected via Ethernet or WiFi downstream of the router itself. Not only that, the switch Multigigabitespecially the 10 GbE ones, are still few and they are all expensive.

Advantages of the 10 Gbps fiber connection

Multigigabit connections offer several advantages which you cannot benefit from using links sub-Gigabit.

To name one, in addition of course to the possibility of using a greater bandwidth at the level of each individual client device (at least 1 Gbps), the use of QoS (Quality of Service), imposed for example at the router level, is practically no longer necessary. Latency drops to levels never seen before by opening up to the concept of real-time communicationsfor real.

It becomes possible to set up and manage server own, make them accessible remotely, with a level of performance in the data transfer phase never seen before. For example, they can be configured NAS in several different geographical locations and synchronize data between them by enabling activities of backup off-site.

And if you use a personal media server come Plex, streaming content from a remote device is a bit like using Netflix in terms of performance and video quality. Perhaps even better, given the limited number of connected devices that will be managed.

Furthermore, with a 10 Gbps connection, remote speed test services can be used to check the speed of WiFi and local Ethernet links as well.

Finally, however, it must be said that it doesn’t matter how fast a connection is but what is actually possible with it: a 10 Gbps connection changes the “rules of the game” by offering the possibility of using 1-2.5 Gbps on a single device. It probably makes little sense, at least for the time we’re living in, to jump through hoops to enjoy 10 Gbps on a specific client.

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