Does FIOS use Ethernet or coax?

Learn > Fiber > Does FIOS use Ethernet or coax?
Short answer, FiOS users fiber-optic cables to reach your home. A passive optical network (PON) can bridge to a devices on the customer premises within the individual terminating unit using technologies such as Ethernet or coaxial cables. In other words, the devices that create the termination point (ONT/ONU) at your premise (FTTH or FTTP) can use Ethernet or Coax to get Internet access, telephone and TV in your home

Before dive deeper, let’s define some terms.


What is FiOS?

FiOS stands for Fiber-Optic Services. FiOS provides Internet, TV and home phone services. FiOS operates on a passive optical network (PON). There are multiple next-generation PON standards.


What is Ethernet?

Ethernet is a group of computer networking technologies commonly used in local area networks (LAN). Ethernet Internet requires specific Ethernet protocol wires.

What is Coax?

Coax is short for coaxial cable. Coax is used for cable Internet. Cable Internet requires coaxial cables.


How does FiOS work?

FiOS, Ethernet and Coax all get you online. But each have structures and limitations that differ from one another. FiOS requires fiber-optic cables to create a passive optical network (PON) to transmit data between an Internet service provider (ISP) and the devices that are on your premise or at your business.

PON equipment consists of a few devices:

  1. An ISP central office device called an optical line terminal (OLT)
  2. One or more user devices called optical network units (ONUs) or optical network terminals (ONTs)
  3.  Fibers and splitters between them, called the optical distribution network (ODN) 

Ethernet or Coax come into play after the splitter breaks the single optic signal into multiple signals to send to individual ONU/ONT devices on your premise.

The ONT or ONU devices that live on your premise terminate the fiber-optic line and can use a single coaxial cable to connect to (or bridge to) the devices on your local area network (LAN). Devices like your cable modem, router or cable modem router.  You can also use an Ethernet cable on your LAN to connect devices to each other to get Internet access.

Hitron’s family of 10G PON ONT/ONU solutions let you scale up to a future-ready network. Ask your ISP about Hitron’s offering today. For more information on home networking solutions check out Hitron’s ​Learn Page​.

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