What is an ONT used for?

Learn > Fiber > What is an ONT used for?

Fiber optic technology doesn’t require a modem to get an Internet connection, it uses an ONT.

ONT, or Optical Network Terminal, is a device used within an FTTx link. That could be fiber to the home (FTTH) or fiber to the business (FTTB). The installation process of every system is unique and every subscriber is different. But the devices needed within the system are the same, such as the start and endpoints, which are the OLT and ONT. The OLT is the starting point on the Internet service provider’s (ISP) side. The ONT is the endpoint of the link on the customer’s side, either residential or commercial. The ONT is how you get an Internet connection on a fiber-optic network. 

Here is how the FTTx chain looks and where the ONT falls in the link:


Optical line terminal (OLT) at your ISP’s central office sends data > Fiber optical cabling carries data upstream and downstream > ONT receives data at your home.


Optical line terminal (OLT) at your ISP’s central office sends data > Fiber optical cabling carries data upstream and downstream > ONT receives data at your business/office building.

The ONT does three (3) main things:

Terminates the fiber-optic line at the customer premise

The ONT communicates to the OLT at your ISP’s central office via fiber optic cables. Data is delivered on upstream and downstream channels. 

De-multiplexes the signal
The fiber-optic signal comes through the line multiplexed, meaning as one signal. So, the ONT de-multiplexes that signal, or divides it, into its component parts: voice telephone, TV, and Internet access.  To complete the ONT installation, it is connected to your phones, TVs, and computers. 

Provides power to telephones
The ONT gets power from the customer premise, so if there is ever a power outage, the ONT would go down too. That is why the best ONT offerings include a battery backup so that customers can maintain their services during a power outage. 

In the market to install fiber technology in your home or office? Ask your ISP about Hitron’s offerings of ONT/ONU devices today to make home networking an easier, better experience overall. For more information on home networking solutions check out Hitron’s Learn Page.

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