The introduction of fiber optic cable has been one of the most important innovations in the telecommunications industry. Fiber optic technology is widely used for high-speed communication inside telecommunications carrier networks. But when it comes to business, the availability of fiber lags significantly behind that of cable. Fiber is also more expensive than cable.

Can Hybrid Fiber Coaxial (HFC) broadband provide the best of both speed and cost? Read on to find out.

Understanding HFC Cable Broadband

In cable network terminology, the headend is the master site where all the TV signals are received and then distributed to users. Cable networks originally used coaxial cable for the connection from the headend to regional headend and the neighborhood hub sites. The neighborhood hub sites were also connected to the users over coaxial cable.

HFC is a broadband network that uses fiber optic to connect the headend to the regional headend and neighborhood hub sites. The neighborhood hub sites are connected to the users over coaxial cable.

In this way HFC uses fiber for high capacity transmission, and cable for the user connection.

How Does HFC Cable Broadband Work?

HFC was originally used for providing cable TV services. HFC services were asymmetrical and could transmit communication one-way only: from the network to the user.

HFC networks have been upgraded and today support two-way communication. In addition to Cable TV, they are also now used widely for providing Internet and telephony services.

Business Benefits of HFC Cable Broadband

Speed and cost are two of the biggest advantages of a Hybrid Fiber Coaxial cable broadband network.

  • Speed: In comparison to Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), HFC cables offer higher data-carrying capacity and speed.
  • Cost: Most commercial and office buildings are already equipped with the required coaxial lead-in cables. Therefore, the setup cost is lower, and you are not required to replace the existing coaxial cables to enjoy the benefits of fast data speed.

Business Benefits of HFC Cable Broadband

  • Triple-play services: you can enjoy hi-speed Internet, TV and telephony service over the same connection.
  • Scalable: Fiber optic has higher data carrying capacity than cable. HFC uses fiber for the high speed backbone, and can scale up to match increased requirements.
  • Reliability: Fiber networks are more reliable than cable networks and require less maintenance. A network using both fiber and cable is more reliable than one based on cable only.

What is the Difference Between HFC and Other Technologies?

Other broadband fixed line connections present in the market include FTTP, FTTC, and FTTB. Let us explore how HFC compares to each one of these.


Fiber to the Home (FTTH) is an exclusive end-to-end fiber connection from the service provider to the user. Unlike FTTH, HFC connections run fiber to a node in a central location from where the coaxial cable helps in completing the connection.


Both Fiber to the Curb (FTTC) and HFC are hybrid technologies. The only difference is the distance to the fiber node. In the case of HFC cable, the distance between the destination and fiber node is typically much larger than in the case of FTTC set up. The distance between FTTC fiber nodes and destinations can be as little as a few meters.


In the Fiber to the Building (FTTB) setup, the fiber is run through the central telecommunication room of a building. From here, the existing telecommunication cable infrastructure is used to connect to the various devices present in the building. Technically, speaking, FTTB can also be a complete fiber connection if the building’s existing cable has been converted to fiber optic.

Is HFC Cable Broadband Appropriate for Your Business?

If you are running a small or medium-sized business, then HFC is an excellent option from a cost perspective. The costs of implementation and operation are much lower than most competing telecommunications solutions. However, it is important to know the following to assess whether HFC is right for your business requirements:

Is HFC Cable Broadband Appropriate for Your Business

  • If your users require the Internet mainly for accessing email or browsing the Internet, then HFC is a good choice. In other words, the technology is designed to deliver the Internet services that an average home/business user would use on their computer. And if your business users have similar requirements, then HFC can be a perfect fit. However, it is important to remember that HFC broadband is a shared connection. Unlike dedicated T1 connections, the speed can vary during high-traffic periods.
  • You can also use the VoIP telephony service over this cable connection. Voice is latency-sensitive, so you will need to ensure that the service provider has configured quality-of-service that ensures higher priority for real-time traffic.

Due to its various advantages, HFC continues to experience excellent growth. Cloud technology is driving the demand for high bandwidth, and service providers, as well as businesses, are looking out for more affordable alternatives.

If you are keen on finding out more about the business advantages of the HFC cable broadband service, feel free to contact us directly. Alternatively, you can fill out the webform and our experts will get in touch with you for an initial consultation. We will help you assess your current and future broadband requirements and help you decide upon the most suitable solution.

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