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In most cable systems, there is fiber optic cable running from the cable company to a large box somewhere in that node. Inside that box there is a media converter which converts the signal from optical (light)to RF (radio frequency).
Then, hardline (very thick 1 inch cable) runs up and down the street, with line extenders (big amplifiers) every couple of hundred of feet. Taps are installed where necessary, and from there it's regular coax cable running to your home.
As far as I know, there are two fiber lines run to each node, one for incoming signal, and one for outgoing.
This is how cable companies usually manage bandwidth and saturation. If a node becomes too busy, they will split it into separate nodes (with separate fiber lines running to each node).
Of course, they only do this when absolutely necessary, because laying fiber is extremely expensive.
Note by habu187 : .750, .860 and higher thickness cable is usually referred to as "trunk cable" which is amplified by "trunk amps" . LEs only amplify "feeder" or distribution cable, usually .500 .
How do you get a cable provider to install an second node if yours is over populated?
They will Not install a new node. They will do something called a node split. The allocate more bandwidth by splitting the node in half.