Hybrid fiber coax (HFC), a network featuring optical fiber from a central office to a neighborhood and standard coax cable to individual homes. It incorporates both fiber optic transmission components and copper coaxial transmission components and now it is a way of delivering video, voice telephony, data, and other interactive services. HFC is also called as the second generation of CATV systems. It offers high-speed backbone data interconnection lines (the fiber portion) to interconnect end user video and data equipment. Nowadays, HFC system (as shown in the following picture) is fast becoming a major transmission vehicle for interactive broadband access to the World Wide Web, CATV, and other multimedia applications.
HFC were once thought to be the way of the future but this idea is being questioned as there are increasing technological advances. Asynchronous Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) is an alternative which Service Providers and consumers are considering, placing it in competition with HFC. ADSL gives access to the Internet via the already existing telephone lines at a different frequency to telephone communication. This means that both the telephone and computer can receive signals at the same time with little or no interference. It is more convenient to use existing telephone lines for ADSL than it is to install a coaxial cable from the street to the home for HFC. This allows ADSL to provide cheaper services and attract more users. Nonetheless, HFC has still been applied widely in some countries. In addition, the appearance of FTTX technology will push optical fiber further into the HFC network. Certainly, in order to adjust to more interactive applications, future HFC network may be continuing improving.