Not all fiber internet is the same, not even close. A 100% Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) internet connection and a hybrid fiber-coaxial cable (HFC) connection differ primarily in the technology used to deliver internet service to homes or businesses. A 100% FTTH employs optical fibers for direct end-to-end data transmission to residences or businesses, ensuring superior speeds and reliability. In contrast, an HFC connection integrates fiber optic and coaxial cables, potentially leading to slightly slower speeds and decreased reliability due to shared bandwidth on the coaxial segment.

Let’s explore these differences and how they impact your internet experience.


100% FTTH (Fiber-to-the-Home)

HFC (Hybrid Fiber-Coaxial Cable)

FTTH involves running fiber optic cables directly to individual residences or businesses. HFC networks use a combination of fiber optic cables for the backbone and coaxial cables (copper) to deliver internet service to individual homes or businesses.
Fiber optic cables consist of strands of glass or plastic fibers that transmit data using light signals. In HFC networks, data travels via light signals through the fiber optic portion of the network but is converted to electrical signals over copper coaxial cables for the last mile.
Pure fiber is FAST; it’s typically a requirement for the highest speeds, such as 2 or 5 GIG. It also offers extremely high bandwidth and low latency. Bandwidth and speeds vary depending on the distance from the internet service provider’s hub to the end user’s location.
With FTTH, there’s a dedicated fiber optic line for each customer, providing consistent speeds and reliability. HFC networks are typically shared among multiple users in a neighborhood, which can lead to congestion and slower speeds during peak usage times.
FTTH is capable of delivering symmetrical upload and download speeds, meaning the upload speed is the same as the download speed, which makes it ideal for activities demanding high data transfer rates like video conferencing, gaming, streaming, large file uploads and multiple devices using the internet at the same time. Generally, HFC networks provide higher download speeds compared to upload speeds. The upload speeds are often slower than the download speeds due to the limitations of the coaxial cable technology.
100% FTTH is typically considered the most advanced and future-proof technology for broadband internet access.  Although HFC connections are an improved technology, they are more susceptible to signal interference than a 100% Fiber network. This can affect service reliability and speed. 
Because FTTH connection is more scalable than other broadband technologies, future upgrades as technology advances are easier and happen faster. Networks that aren’t 100% fiber can become outdated or overloaded and may require large overhauls as newer technology emerges.

Bottom Line:


As a rule of thumb, if you can get 100% FTTH, as you can with Trailblazer Broadband, you’ll never go wrong taking that route, especially in our weather-rich Rocky Mountains environment. Fiber-optic cables aren’t affected as much by weather conditions, environmental factors, or other external factors that commonly impact traditional copper-based cables. That means you get a stable, more reliable connection.

Finally, 100% fiber-connected homes have also been shown to experience enhanced real estate values, up to 5% according to a recent study. As an internet consumer, you’ll want to consider your priorities and make an informed decision. Fortunately, the future of high-speed internet connectivity continues to evolve, and the future is 100% Fiber!


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