Hybrid Fiber-Coaxial Cable

What Does Hybrid Fiber-Coaxial Cable Mean?

A hybrid fiber-coaxial cable (HFC cable) is a communication medium that combines fiber optic and coaxial cable-based transmission modes into a unified path. It delivers voice, Internet, cable TV and other digital interactive solutions and services to individual consumers and organizations. HFC cable is used by telecommunication, cable TV and Internet companies.


HFC cable is also known as hybrid fiber coax, hybrid fiber coaxial or hybrid fiber cable.

Techopedia Explains Hybrid Fiber-Coaxial Cable

In a typical HFC cable scenario, a service provider stretches a fiber optic backbone that is located in close proximity to a customer/end-user and terminates it at a node device. From the node device, the fiber’s transmitted light signals are converted into radio frequency signals, which are transmitted via coaxial cable, which expands until it reaches the end user or device.

For example, a cable Internet service provider (ISP) may use fiber optic from the central office to each branch exchange of a town. The Internet is delivered on coaxial cables from there to the customer’s home or office. This combination of fiber and coaxial cable allows higher speeds to be reached through a fiber backbone close to the customer, while remaining economical and compatible via coaxial cable-based delivery to end users/consumers.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…