New Variant of Passive Optical Networking Beginning to Take Root: Broadband Communities

Faster speeds enabled by XGS-PONs are in high demand, say network operators.

New Variant of Passive Optical Networking Beginning to Take Root: Broadband Communities
Photo of Mike Janssen of Quantum Fiber

HOUSTON, May 9, 2023 – Providers are beginning to deploy 10 gigabit symmetrical passive optical network in fiber builds, said network operators the Broadband Communities Summit on May 4.

A PON is the fiber optical splitter that delivers data from a single transmission point to multiple end points. It differs from the active ethernet model which connects the fiber directly to the end point. The 10-gigabit symmetrical PON, or XGS-PON, is an evolution of Gigabit PON, the access technology of passive optical network.

The primary difference between XGS-PON and GPON is that the former provides symmetrical bandwidth of 10 Gigabits per second both downstream and upstream whereas the later only provides 2.5 Gbps downstream and 1.25 Gbps upstream. XG-PON, another derivation, provides 10 Gbps downstream and 2.5 Gbps upstream.

Both XGS-PON and GPON were designed to co-exist which enables them to be deployed on the same network.

According to network operators, XGS-PON is the preferred standard, and the networks are being upgraded to meet these needs.

Totelcom Communications is in the process transferring all GPONs to XGS-PONs, said the company’s Chief Technology Officer Michael Prather.

Every new build is going toward XGS-PON, agreed Mike Janssen, senior manager of sales engineering at Quantum Fiber.

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, there was an increase in demand for higher speeds from consumers, added Janssen. It is important that consumers have high-speed available in their homes for future innovations, he said.

“I do believe that XGS-PON will be around for a long time,” said George Frank, broadband access product line manager at software and network services company Ciena, in response to concerns that increasing interest in 5G technology will make XGS-PON obsolete.

There are currently no applications that require 5G speeds, he said.

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