PTCL offers FTTH (Fiber To The Home) service using GPON (Gigabit Passive Optical Network), a fiber technology that allows provision of high speed PTCL broadband packages. This service is available for the corporate customers and PTCL claims to provide to residential as well.
This, however, needs more clarification. Even though PTCL is offering high speed internet in the name of fiber to residential places, it is not the real fiber. In the name of fiber connection the residential places are provided internet through copper wires.
Fiber To The Home (FTTH) means fiber is actually provided directly at home not just to the exchange. No copper wire is involved anywhere in the PTCL internet connection. If you asked for fiber connection at your residence and PTCL broadband team has pulled a yellow wire into your place, it’s not fiber. Yellow wire indicates copper wire, and no fiber connection is complete without GPON device that is required for fiber connection.
Fiber wire, on the other hand, is of black color and it needs to be perfectly straight when pulled into your house. Which also means maintaining that straight posture indefinitely and to achieve that the PTCL team needs to dig up a line right up to your house. Other option is to pull fiber up on a pole and stretch it directly into your house. An inefficient way of providing fiber service but the only alternate to digging the road, cement, tiles etc.
And it’s not free either. If you want only the fiber to be pulled into your house, it would cost the customer about Rs. 6,000 (and charges would be even higher if digging is involved). We had reached out to a PTCL Fiber customer in DHA Phase 5 in Karachi who had the fiber pulled into the house via pole (no digging) and it took him long argument and persistence to make the PTCL team agree to do it.
This fact can also be verified from the fact that when supplying 4 mb fiber connection and 4 mb copper connection to residential homes, there is no price difference between the two. On the forum of PakGamers the discussion on PTCL Fiber yielded the same result, people were provided yellow copper wire in the name of fiber without additional cost.
PTCL is not the only company with fiber service though; others have also started this service such as Stormfiber and Fiberlink who are in soft launch phase while Transworld is also starting its operations in due time. Nayatel offers true fiber experience in Islamabad where they provide ONT device as well (similar to GPON) that completes the fiber connection.