FTTN internet vs Cable

FTTN internet vs Cable

When searching for a good internet service, you will come across different technologies. Most popular are Fibre Optics, Cable, DSL, LTE, Satellite and Broadband. Now you just leaned about FTTN and wonder what it is. FTTN, mostly known as hybrid fiber internet, is usually offered in dense population area and have pros and cons. Let's find out what would be the best choice for your home.

FTTN internet infographics

Fiber To The Node or Neighbourhood

As you can guess, FTTN stands for Fibre to the Node or Neighbourhood, but what does it mean ? Very simplistic answer is that it's the way the internet connection is delivered to your modem or wifi router. Signal in FTTN connection is transported via Fibre Optics cable up until your neighbourhood, then goes through a copper wire in your house.

Fiber Optic Accessibility

Usually fiber optic is faster and more stable than cable. Unfortunately, only 35% of Canadian households had access to FTTH with 11% subscribing according to a 2018 survey.

*Source: 2018 survey from cansumer.ca

Cable internet and DSL

Cable television is available to Canadian since 1950. 40 years later the internet was able to travel through those same copper wires. Similar to the television signal going through the coaxial cables, internet can reach your home at a much greater speed than the phone line.

DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) on the other hand use phone wires for internet transmission.

The speed of cable internet varies according to different factors. You may consider your location, the service provider the usage in your neighbourhood and atmospheric interference.

FTTN vs Cable Internet Choice

Which technology is right for you?

Now that you know more about the difference between Cable Internet and FTTN, can you make the right choice? Getting the right high-speed internet connection is not an easy task because different factors are to consider. The main points to consider are the available bandwidth, your data usage and the different plans available in your area.

DSL vs Cable vs LTE vs Satellite vs FTTN vs FTTH

Technology Download speed range Upload speed range Availability Prices
DSL 5-35 Mbps 1-10 Mbps High
Cable 10-500 Mbps 5-50 Mbps Moderate
LTE 5-30 Mbps 2-5 Mbps Moderate
Satellite 5-25 Mbps 1 Mbps Very high
FTTN 50 Mbps - 200 Mbps 10 Mbps - 50 Mbps Low
FTTH 250-1000 Mbps 250-1000 Mbps Very low

Frequently asked questions

  • Ted Tayler Mobo Telecom
  • about the author

    Ted Taylor, better known as Mr. Mobo, is a telecom analyst and columnist. Mr. Mobo advises consumers on everything related to telecommunications.