LONDON -- Broadband World Forum -- G.fast, the emerging technology that's set to turbocharge copper access lines across Europe, North America and pockets of Asia, was predictably one of the dominant topics during the annual access network love-in that is the Broadband World Forum.
Why so predictable? Well, with the event once again held in London and with BT as the host operator, the subject of G.fast was always going to be high on the agenda, as the UK incumbent has been by far the most fervent supporter of the technology, and with dramatic results.
But the show has been about a lot more than just that one technology: Next-generation fiber access technology developments, including the business drivers for deployment, have also been high on the hit list at the show, with NG-PON2 emerging as a near-term solution for a number of operators.
What's clear from this year's BBWF is that there's a lot of new energy in the ultra-broadband sector, fueled by the need for very high-capacity, low-latency connectivity that goes very close to end users in order to support the future demands of a 5G world and the increasing traffic crunch that video traffic is delivering.
But it's also clear that new business and network architecture models are needed to deliver those capabilities in an economic way, and introducing some new access technologies is only a small part of the equation. Evolving access networks to become part of the broader distributed cloud architecture is key for network operators and everyone that depends on them, and trends such as CORD (Central Office Re-architected as a Datacenter) and central office re-farming are starting points that need to be built upon -- and quickly.
Tune in to Broadband World News Radio on February 14 at 11 a.m. ET / 8 a.m. PT / 4 p.m. UK when John Isch, Practice Director of the Network and Voice Center of Excellence at Orange Business Services, discusses use cases, ROI and misconceptions of software-defined wide-area networks, virtualization and cloud.
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