Tutorial: The Last Mile: Copper, Fiber and Wireless

Lesson 7 in CTNS Course 2241 Introduction to Broadband Converged IP Telecom.

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the last mile

This lesson is an introduction to network access technologies, called the "last mile", the physical connection between the user and the network; the face of the telecom network to users.

We group access technologies by physical medium: copper, fiber and wireless, then survey the main technologies in each area.

Subsequent courses and lessons drill deeper into the technologies. This lesson is part of the introduction.

Copper includes twisted pair loops, LAN cables and old-fashioned T1s, as well as coaxial cable CATV infrastructure.

Fiber means Optical Ethernet, shared links for residences via Passive Optical Networks and dedicated links for businesses.

Wireless includes 4G LTE and 5G, used for both fixed and mobile applications, and satellites.

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