Gigabit Google? We're getting ready for 10 gigabits says Verizon

NG-PON2 passes test, Verizon preps for RFPs by year-end

Fibre Optic by Barta IV https://www.flickr.com/photos/98640399@N08/ cc 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Verizon has upped the ante in the fibre-to-the-home business, plugging some test kit into its network to show off 10Gbps.

The test was a proof-of-concept for what's called NG-PON2 – next generation passive optical network – an ITU roadmap that plots GPON (gigabit PON) upgrades with a minimum of new kit.

In the test, Verizon sent 10Gbps streams from a Framingham central office to a FiOS home customer three miles (4.8 km) away, and to a nearby business.

The test also demonstrated backwards-compatibility of kit supporting the NG-PON2 standard, since the fibres used in the test were also carrying live GPON traffic at the time.

The kit the company used – from Cisco and PT Inovacao, the technology R&D arm of Portugal Telecom – currently maxes out at 10 Gbps, but Verizon's announcement notes that NG-PON2 also supports wavelength division multiplexing (WDM).

Switching on extra wavelengths, the company says, would support download speeds up to 80Gbps. The optical line terminal (OLT) used in the test ran four wavelengths, each able to support 10G/2.5G customer connections.

Verizon's director of access technology Vincent O'Byrne said future NG-PON2 implementations will support symmetrical connections, 10Gbps in both directions. The company plans to issue calls for proposals later in the year for the hardware and software needed for a full NG-PON2 rollout.

NG-PON2: a primer

An NG-PON2 presentation can be found here [PDF].

That paper explains that the project, initiated in 2010, envisages each operator's optical port should support at least 64 customers (and eventually as many as 256), and should have a reach of at least 40 km using passive technologies (that is, without needing active kit between the exchange and the customer).

Optical network units – the customer's broadband modem – are configurable to tune into whichever wavelength is carrying their traffic.

For highest-capacity services, the NG-PON2 standard supports point-to-point WDM from network to customer. However, the greatest benefit of the technology for carriers will be that it also supports time division multiplexing on the WDM channels, so capacity can be shared between a number of consumers.

For TWDM (time and wavelength division multiplexing) implementations, the ITU has assigned the 1596-1603 nanometre wavelengths to downstream NG-PON2 traffic, with different upstream options between 1524 and 1544nm depending on the WDM scheme in use.

Point-to-point implementations will use either 1603-1625nm or 1524-1625nm wavelengths (the latter most likely to be deployed in greenfields rollouts where the new kit doesn't have to coexist with today's GPON systems). ®

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