What is fttc Connectivity?

The internet space has been evolving right from the time of its inception with new technologies being introduced every once in a while to keep upgrading the system. One of these new generation technologies include fttc connections; here, fttc stands for ‘fiber to the cabinet’ – which is usually located on a street side.

This type of connectivity technology uses a combination of two types of cables to deliver broadband internet – the new gen fiber-optic cables along with the traditional copper cables. In fttc connections, a fiber-optic cable runs from the service provider’s network, through the local exchange before ending in a distribution outlet in a street cabinet (also known as a Distribution Point Unit- DPU). From here, multiple lines can be drawn to the various homes requiring connectivity, usually over a relatively short distance. It is from the street cabinet point that the use of fiber-optic cables ends and the traditional copper cables begins. The fttp (fiber to the premises), in contrast uses fiber-optic cables all the way to the premises or homes of the individual without using a common connection box in-between, making it more expensive as compared to fttc. This of course also has to do with the partial use of the cheaper copper cables in fttc. However, do note that in the long run, the costs could come down to the same thing as more maintenance is required for copper cables.


The last part of the connection where copper cables are used is also known as the ‘last mile’, even though the distance covered doesn’t have to be just a mile. However, just like the traditional ADSL broadband, the distance between the street cabinet and the premises will definitely have an impact on the speeds that you will be ultimately availing. The greater the distance from the connection box, the slower the expected download and uploading speeds.

What’s more, if your home happens to be more than 1.5km away from the nearest cabinet, then you probably won’t find any differences in speed between a regular ADSL connection and an fttc connection. And if your home happens to be further than 5km from the nearest street cabinet, then there is an altogether no point in upgrading your ADSL connection to an fttc. On the other hand, if your home or business is too close to the ISP’s center, then you would be connected directly to the exchange, totally bypassing the cabinet!

Compared to fttc, fttp has an added advantage of speeds not being affected by distance; that being said, do note that fttp and fttc offer the same speed packages at similar rates, although higher speed packages are possible with fttp at more expensive rates.

In Kerala, fiber-optic technology is relatively new and comes at a slightly dearer rate than the traditional copper cable networks, but times are a-changing!


What are these Different Types of Networks – LAN, MAN, WAN ?

For a person new to networking technology, different types of networks like LAN, MAN and WAN might seem a little like playing the alphabet game all over again and get you thoroughly confused with their similar-sounding names. However, once you understand the meanings behind these network configurations, you will find that these acronyms are rather self-explanatory and easy to understand; the main difference between them is in the different geographical areas they serve.



Here is a little more about these technologies:


Also known as Local Area Network, it serves a group of connected computers and network devices within the same building. It’s usually used within an office but becoming increasingly common in homes too due to the popularity of the Wi-Fi. These connections are supposed to be high speed and relatively inexpensive; an example is Ethernet or token ring.

It can be wired or wireless with nearly all modern LANs using high-speed Ethernet. Although other standards like AppleTalk, IPX, NetBEUI and token ring were common in the 80’s and 90’s, the Ethernet has been ruling supreme largely due to its open technology.

Ethernet can be implemented through the twisted-pair cables or through wireless technology – read Wi-Fi. While wireless technology provides greater performance and less interference, there is the downside for potential eavesdropping.


This refers to the Metropolitan Area Network which covers an area larger than that covered by LAN. It can be used to connect nodes located within the same metro area and can cover several buildings within the same town or city. One of the commonly used technologies for organizations to set-up this type of technology is through the use of microwave transmission technology. Remember seeing those tall microwave antennas on TV news vans? Yes, they use MAN networking to beam back audio and video signals to their main studio. Different buildings can also be hooked up using fiber optic cables, but then that makes it quite expensive.


Also known as Wide Area Network, this technology isn’t restricted to any geographical area, but within a state or country. It basically connects together several LANs and can be limited to an organization or available to the public. The internet is the best example.

This technology is comparatively expensive and has high-speed features. It can be delivered through wired or wireless technology. However, covering large areas with cable can get expensive, making wireless a more preferred option.


What is fttn Connection?


These days, life is all about internet and its application in almost every sphere of a person’s life. However, the terminologies get into the way and leave many of us stumped. For those of you who were thrown the term ‘fttn’ connection, you might be in a fix to find out what exactly it is and where it can be applied.

To begin with, ‘fttn’ simply refers to ‘Fiber to the Node’ (or neighborhood) connection which is basically a telecommunication set-up based on fiber-optic cables that run from a street cabinet and serve the surrounding neighborhood buildings. Fiber-optic cables also need further explanation and basically refer to a bundle of extremely slim glass or plastic fibers which are capable of transmitting data over long distances without any losses in speed. Fiber-optic cables are a better alternative to the traditional copper cable system that needs servicing and is prone to damage with time.

With fttn, the fiber-optic cables run from the connecting grid center up to the nodes in the street cabinets; from there onwards, not just a fiber-optic cable, but even a traditional copper wire with a coaxial connection for ADSL broadband can be used to connect to your home. The best part of using fttn is that it’s faster to connect to the broadband services than other types of earlier technologies. All you need do is get the right kind of modem for fttn as the traditionally used modems could slow you down.

With homes growing vertically these days, a similar technology known as fttb or ‘Fiber to the building’ has been developed where the fiber-optic cable runs right up to a centralized box within the building from where residents of the apartment complex can take individual broadband connections.

Fiber-optic technology is among the top latest technologies used in broadband data services, and though initial installation might be a little expensive, with part of the cost being borne by the customers, in the long run, fttn is the best connection possible as it delivers data at high speeds. Aside from no frustrated hair-pulling, there is almost little to no maintenance required for fiber-optic cables, making them a viable choice for the future. This newer technology is slowly taking over the copper cables associated with ADSL connections, and there is a good chance that your broadband service provider might also be switching over to this newer technology to stay abreast with competition. ISP giants like Asianet Broadband services with an over 2 lakh customer base in Kerala, are also changing to fiber-optic cables with work already in progress in Kozhikode city. This is supposed to be carried out all over Kerala in a phased manner when you can enjoy lightening speeds of 200Mbps and 200GD data for INR 999. However, don’t get skeptical as significant changes in rates aren’t expected!


What does the term ‘Broadband’ and its Technologies Mean?


The term broadband refers to high-speed data transmission that is faster than the traditional dial-up system. This type of data transmission can carry large amounts of data via a single channel at a given time and needs a single medium (cable or wire).Broadband transmissions use different types of high-speed technologies including the Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) cable modems (which use existing phone lines for internet transmission), coaxial cable modems (where cable TV connections are used in conjunction with broadband internet), fiber-optic technology as well as broadband over power lines (BPL).

Broadband transmission can be both wired or wireless. When it’s wired, we are basically talking about there being a physical connection to a physical location via a connecting cable. There are essentially three main types of wired broadband connections accessed by homes or businesses; these include DSL connections, coaxial cables and fiber-optic cables. Other wired connections include BPL. However with the simple use of a Wi-Fi router, all these wired technologies can be accessed wirelessly throughout your home or office.

DSL broadband connections are easy to install in buildings that already have traditional copper telephone line inlets. The only equipment needed is a modem plugged into an already existing phone outlet and you are on your way! The only real disadvantage to DSL connections is that services get compromised after a distance of 18,000 feet from the service provider’s office. Availability of adequate internet speed deliveries cannot be guaranteed once this distance is surpassed. Another disadvantage is that uploading speeds don’t match downloading speeds. With evolving technologies, the DSL bandwidths may not be at par with speed requirements for certain category of consumers.

Broadband internet using coaxial cables is one of the most popular ways of accessing internet and is faster than the DSL service. An external cable modem device has two outlets – one for cable TV and the other for the internet. All you have to do is switch on the computer to access internet as along with television signals, you also get access to broadband over coaxial cables. Both features can be used at the same time without any interference from each other and distance from the ISP provider isn’t an issue either. Asianet Broadband Services use this technology to deliver quality broadband internet to their cable TV subscribers.

The fiber-optic technology is comparatively new and converts electrical pulses into light pulses before transporting them through very slim glass fibers. There is very little loss of signal, speed or clarity with distance, as compared to DSL or coaxial cables. However, this is a comparatively expensive technology aside from requiring equipment for converting and reconverting electrical signals.

BPL internet connections are delivered over the low- and medium-voltage electricity lines and speeds are comparable to coaxial and DSL cable modes. The only disadvantage is that it’s not cost-effective in rural areas.


The Pros and Cons of Prepaid and Postpaid Plans

Internet is the ‘God’ of everything in the current era and is needed for the world to function normally. Can you imagine a day where you are unable to check the weather, the news, the state of traffic congestions to the office, keep in touch with your friends and family as well as communicate with your colleagues at work? You can also use it for purposes of checking for recipes, downloading movies and music, getting the kids homework done or even as a conjunct for connecting automated smart homes to your smart phone.

For all the above and more, internet is the essential tool to keep your life functioning on an even keel. However, with so much competition going on in the field, businesses are coming up with various offers to keep their heads afloat as well as be more customer-friendly. The prepaid and postpaid plan offered by broadband providers is one such option. However, it does get a little bit confusing when you want to avail of an internet plan and need to make an educated choice of which plan to go for. So here’s some more information that should help you decide which way to head…

To begin with, let’s define what prepaid and postpaid plans are; as the name suggests, prepaid means you have to select a plan according to your data needs and pay for the services upfront, before commencing on the services. You also get to use only the amount that you paid for; if you need more data, then you will have to pay for additional top-up services. Most prepaid plans become worthwhile and advantageous when taken for a long term, like a year.

Postpaid on the other hand refers to payment for services availed, by the end of the month. However, a downside to postpaid plans is that there is usually an initial security deposit paid to the company. Not to get discouraged, the plus point of postpaid plans is that you get faster speeds and can use as much or as little of the services as per your needs and pay for only that amount. You also won’t get stuck mid-way in your internet usage just because you exceeded your download limits of data, like in prepaid plans. At the end of the month, you get an invoice based on your usage, it’s that convenient.

While prepaid plans are ideal for light users, postpaid plans are ideal for medium to heavy internet users with specific plans tailor-made for you. Aside from this, in prepaid plans, you have control on your bill, but in postpaid plans, it’s so easy to go overboard!

At the end of the day, both plans have their pros and cons, and your choice should depend on the kind of user you are – light or heavy…..

Safety Measures to undertake when giving Children Access to the Internet at Home


Whatever man creates, the devil finds its own way of misusing it. So also with the internet; it was created for the progress and betterment of mankind, but unfortunately, there are these uniquely crooked-brained individuals who misuse this constructive tool for stalking, bullying and harassing young innocent minds, ultimately ending with their inflicting harm on these gullible youngsters.

If you have a kid at home who uses the internet, you must know that the internet is a dangerous place to be with ‘digital’ footprints being as easy to follow as real footprints. As a parent, it’s your duty to teach your child to be wary about unknown people trying to make friends with them, some of who even go as far as claiming to be friends of your kid’s friends.

To be useful in protecting your kid online, you need to know more about it than your kid – this might seem an arduous task as kids are taught about using computers right from class 1 these days. There is no point in your setting up parental control on the computer if your kid knows how to go around disabling it. You need to know if your child uses chat rooms and social networking websites as it’s so easy for an adult predator to create a fake youngsters profile for the sole purpose of stalking of gullible kids.

Some ways to educate and protect your kid from sexual predators include:

  • Information your child puts up on social networks along with photos are so easy for stalkers to follow and zone in on your kids location.
  • Emphasize on the importance of not sharing personal information to your kid.
  • Information on hobbies and interests posted online can be used as bait to lure the child.
  • Keep the home computer in a public space where you can easily monitor the sites your child visits. Nothing can replace parental supervision.
  • Your child should only communicate with people he actually knows.
    Install parental control software and activate inbuilt safety systems and filters to control the sites your kid may visit.
  • Set your child’s profile to ‘private’ so only friends can view the information within; remove all things related to address, emails, phone numbers, age or ‘photo sharing’.
  • You need to explain to your child about the potential dangers of playing ‘live’ online games, opening of pop-ups or clicking on hyperlinks or even opening junk mails or spam.
  • Teach your children to inform you if someone is making unwelcome contact with them; you can always report this information to the police, your internet service provider and the school.
  • Educate your child on strategies to protect themselves and avoid risky behavior online, as ultimately they need to learn to be vigilant themselves too.

Which is the most Reliable and Consistent Connection Source of Internet?


Having a consistently reliable source of internet is becoming increasingly important with most people spending a lot of time online. In their quest for a reliable source of internet, many users keep hopping from one Internet Service Provider (ISP) to another without really knowing what the basic problem is. Hooking up with the right ISP makes a big difference in your levels of happiness or frustration as you don’t have to spend long hours waiting for data transfers.

If you are living in the city, you have greater options for reliable ISPs to choose from; in the rural areas, there are usually just a couple to choose from! Here are a few guidelines to follow when hunting for a reliable internet provider.

First, you will need a brief crash-course on the different kinds of internet services available. Broadband internet is actually a loose term that includes internet connections that are ‘always on’; these high speed options include cable connections, fiber optics, DSL and satellite services.

The cable broadband internet comes along with the TV cable connection through coaxial wires with just one outlet required for both facilities. The download speeds can vary between 3Mbps to a 100Mbps depending on the plan you are on. This is one of the most popular types of internet connection and isn’t dependent on distance like the DSL and is faster than services including satellite and DSL. The only disadvantage is that you share the same bandwidth as your neighbors and during peak hours, there may be a drop in speeds.

The Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) operates over regular telephone lines and can deliver speeds between 256 Kbps to 24 Mbps. Aside from being cheaper, it provides faster downloads as compared to uploads, with greater speeds expected soon. Where DSL services are available, the speeds are usually very stable and consistent, with only disadvantage being that the quality and speed are dependent on the distance from the ISP’s office.

Satellite internet connections, though a little expensive to set-up initially are very stable and can reach far-flung places where other internet networks cannot reach. In many isolated hilly terrains, satellite networks are the only option available. Irrespective of the location, satellites offer the same download and uploading speeds.

The latest type of internet connection is the fiber-optic lines technology which uses glass fibers as thin as the human hair to transfer data using light. This technology offers the highest speeds as compared to other methods with the only downside being that it’s not available everywhere; and where it is available, it’s on the expensive side.

Aside from your internet connection type, your ISP also matters, so ask around in your neighborhood, before going for the best one to suit your needs. Factors to consider would be reliability, customer service, cost and terms of service.


South Korea – The Country with the Fastest Broadband Facility


South Korea is the clear leader when it comes to broadband internet connection, having the world’s fastest internet connectivity. With about 45 million people (or 92.4% of the population) being hooked up to the internet, the nation displays a substantial relationship with its digital space. Aside from the speed, the country also offers the cheapest broadband in the world, marking the capital Seoul as ‘the bandwidth capital of the world’.

Having achieved that, the South Koreans still aren’t resting on their laurels; on the contrary, they are now working on creating speeds of 1Gigabit per second equivalent to download time of 2 minutes for an HD movie. This commercial version of 5G is expected to hit the country shortly and is part of a long-term initiative by the government to keep the internet evolving.

According to the internet monitoring firm Akamai, Japan holds the second place for fastest internet speeds, with South Korea having a lead by 40%. But then the question arises that how does a small country like South Korea manage to beat technologically-evolved giants for undefeated speeds? Apparently, the reasons boil down to government planning, healthy competition, population density, a long-term vision and the unique Korean culture.

The government has many policies and plans in place that encourage its citizens to get hooked up to high-speed broadband connections; they even offer subsidized rates to low-income people in an effort to keep the country moving ahead.

A healthy competition between broadband providers results in faster, cheaper internet connections. South Korea also offers more varied choices when it comes to types of broadband providers. While most people opt for cable or telephone providers when looking for internet connections, South Korea with its high-density population leads the way with the highest number of DSL connections per head. While ADSL offers speeds of up to 3Mbits to 8Mbits, VDSL has also caught on and is accordingly faster.

With a large population of the country living in densely-populated areas with more than 1,200 people per sq mile in mainly vertically built-up metropolitan areas, setting up internet infrastructure becomes cheaper; an ADSL connection into a single apartment building ends up supplying numerous people in one go, thus bringing down installation costs. While older apartment buildings sport ADSL connections, newer buildings are going for VDSL.

The Korean culture is also important in its use of the broadband. With parents being overzealous on the emphasis of education, they see the internet as an important extension of education. The government also encourages housewives to use the internet in their day-to-day life, thus creating an insatiable demand.

Korea has adopted in part the ‘open network’ system where various broadband providers share infrastructure facilities such as cables for a fee, to offer faster, cheaper internet to the end-user, without having to spend huge amounts on infrastructure.


Distinguish between Broadband and DSL Connections


As the internet world is flying by leaps and bounds every year, you need to make sure that when it’s time for you to get your own connection, it’s at par with the latest technology in order to have access to high-speed, hassle-free internet services.

Terms like broadband, DSL and wireless technologies including fiber optics or satellites might be thrown your way during your research. While the terminologies may stump you for a moment, here is a brief breakdown on some basic stuff you will need to know.

Broadband basically refers to internet signals that are of high bandwidth or capacity, with quite a number of internet services being referred to as broadband also by virtue of their high-speed broadband transmission. Broadband access internet access is definitely faster than the traditional dial-up system and includes technologies like DSL (Digital Subscriber Line), coaxial cables, fiber-optic cables, satellites access or other wireless systems. The point to be noted here is that while all these technologies can be loosely referred to as broadband, the reveres doesn’t hold true; for example not all broadband connections can be considered as DSL!

Earlier, broadband internet was defined as downstream speeds faster than 512 Kbps; this definition has been getting moderated with time and currently stands at around 4 Mbps or more of internet connection. A number of DSL aren’t this fast.

DSL, or Digital Subscriber Line is a type of wired broadband internet connection that utilizes the wires of a telephone service to deliver high-speed internet access. Depending on the location and distance from the internet service provider (ISP), speeds can range from 256 Kbps to 24 Mbps. The quality of the telephone lines and the material used also matters when it comes to deliverance of speeds. The telephone wires used are typically copper (twisted pair) wires. Other than this, the DSL plan that you are subscribed for also matters when it comes to broadband speeds availed.

Another advantage of DSL connections is that you don’t need to drill any further holes into your walls as it can accessed over your telephone wire – all you need is to plug in a DSL modem! This type of broadband connection is now slowly getting phased out as other faster wireless systems like cable and fiber optics are taking over the scenario. Cables can provide speeds that are 100-300 Mbps while fiber optics can provide speeds up to 1000 Mbps.

So when choosing an internet service provider for yourself, a DSL provider may not always be best as connections tend to deteriorate with distance from the ISP provider. That being said, wireless connections also tend to suffer from presence of trees or constructions obstructing the way. The best way out would be to ask your neighbors which connection they are using!

What are 2G, 3G and 4G Networks?


The wireless option for internet data has been adopted far and wide in India with companies offering 2G, 3G and 4G speeds to their subscribers. Over 75% of Indian internet users are believed to access data over mobile devices, with the craze for hand-held internet devices increasing by leaps and bounds. However, most of them have issues with the internet speeds being offered under the guise of 3G or 4G.

To begin with, let’s first clarify the difference between the 2G, 3G and 4G networks; it might sound a little complicated in the beginning, but it’s mainly to do with internet speeds. The ‘G’ here stands for generation, so it becomes clear, that the 4G has to be the latest technology with highest speeds of above 100Mbps. The speed of data transmission between 2G and 3G, that is between second generation and third generation technologies, is in the faster download speeds and faster access in the 3G networks. TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) is of the view that a 2G should have minimum data download speed of 56Kbps while 3G should have a minimum download speed of 1Mbps (95%success rates).

However, do note that not all phones are designed to be used with all the above-mentioned technologies as they come with different band compatibilities. The 2G has only 4 bands while the 3G has 5 bands and 4G has about 7 bands. So when buying a phone, make sure its compatible with your data frequency needs.

Interestingly, the first generation (read 1G) commercial cellular network took off as early as in the 70’s, but only took root by the 80’s. The radio signals used were analogue and as they degrade over time and distance, the voice quality wasn’t too great.

This paved way for the introduction of the 2G or second generation GSM network technology in the 90’s which allowed voice and data usage across different networks and allowed roaming for the first time. Along with greater privacy, it also included the 1G features of SMS, internal roaming and real time billing based on services.

The third generation technology, 3G, was introduced commercially in 2001 and supported a wider range of applications as well as increased data transmission at lower costs. Some of these applications included wireless internet access for video calls, chatting, conference calls, emails, mobile gaming, music, video on demand, etc. This introduced a whole new meaning to the mobile phone.

The fourth generation technology, 4G, was introduced in 2010 and is an IP-based network system that provides consumers with higher speeds, better quality as well as greater capacity for data services and multimedia over the internet at lower rates. And things are only going to get better as the fifth generation, or 5G network will soon be rolled out in India too.