CableLabs to Release FTTP Standards

  • Cable
  • GEPON
LOUISVILLE, CO — After several years of experimentation with fiber to the premises, it appears that the cable industry is ready to standardize its approach to fiber. For several years, cable companies have gravitated toward Ethernet Passive Optical Network (EPON) technology, rather than the GPON technology favored by telephone companies and, at least for now, they view business services as their major opportunities for fiber deployment. Reinforcing these trends, CableLabs, the cable television industry's research and development consortium, just announced that it will release specifications for DPoE (DOCSIS Provisioning of EPON) for business services.

CableLabs' specifications will give cable operators a common method of using DOCSIS back-office specifications and service concepts to provision and operate EPON-based products when delivering IP and Ethernet services.

Don't Reinvent the Wheel
"It became apparent to us, while working on EPON interoperability, that we had already solved the problem of multivendor interoperability when we developed the DOCSIS specifications," says Robert Harris, vice president of network planning and architecture for Time Warner Cable.

"The DPoE specification effort capitalizes on cable operators' existing back-office infrastructure, provisioning and operational processes from the DOCSIS network, offering a much higher level of service velocity and scaling of commercial services over IEEE standards-based EPON while making an efficient use of outside plant fiber assets," adds Shamim Akhtar, director of network architecture and engineering, Comcast Cable Communications.

"We've embraced DOCSIS and EPON technologies and are focused on delivering IP and MEF based services for business and commercial applications. The DPoE specifications give us the ability to support multiple products and services based on those foundations," says Craig Cowden, corporate vice president of network engineering and operations, Bright House Networks.

Cable industry goals for future versions of the DPoE specifications will be to add additional features and functionality to DPoE technology that allow support of a greater variety of data and voice services in the commercial space.

In addition to CableLabs participation in this initiative, Broadcom, Hitachi-CTA, ZTE and Finisar (formerly Broadway Networks) served as vendor members of the development team, and were also directly involved in writing the DPoE specifications.

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