With its early participation in NG-PON 2 standards development, Verizon hopes to aid both the industry and its own network by accelerating the standards process, including interoperability capabilities and expanding the number of standards' adherents.
The tier one communications service provider is part of Broadband Forum's NG-PON2 Council, formed earlier this year to expedite development of NG-PON2 as it continues to gather momentum among CSPs and vendors.
"We believe in standards and in the ability of increased flexibility to reduce overall costs," Vincent O'Byrne, director of technology at Verizon and a member of the council told UBB2020. "If there was only one standard or one standard every five years, everyone would design to that and there would be less variability in the chip design, that's why the spec -- if you can have a spec with fewer alternatives -- it allows the chip manufacturers to make one kind of chip to support everybody and therefore lowers their costs and in an ideal world that gets transferred to the vendor community and then to the operator community, as well."
While some cynics bemoan the sometimes slow speed of standards development, NG-PON2 standards are evolving more rapidly because Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) and other CSPs have specific use cases driving the agenda and time frame, said O'Byrne. In fact, Verizon has been steadily pushing the NG-PON2 envelope as the next upgrade in passive optical networking technology. In January, for example, it showcased NG-PON2 interoperability testing between multiple vendors on each end of one fiber.
Since optical distribution networks (ODNs) represent about 70% of total investments in deploying PONs, the NG-PON2 evolution must be compatible with current networks. Advocates like Verizon want to ensure NG-PON2 solutions outperform NG-PON1 in areas such as ODN compatibility, bandwidth, capacity, cost-effectiveness and flexibility.
"With NG-PON2, it doesn't matter which equipment is on the end; we can mix and match. We can assign different wavelengths to one vendor, then another, so you can have for example, Calix and ADTRAN on the same fiber, supporting different wavelengths, going to different customers. It offers us an awful lot of flexibility," O'Byrne said.
That interoperability is crucial -- and one reason Verizon has been involved in NG-PON2 standards since the mid-2000s.
Added Robin Mersh, CEO of Broadband Forum, in an interview: "Interoperability has been one of the biggest things to overcome in terms of getting greater deployment of broadband. You could argue that management has been an important part of that as well, but I just can't help but think if you listen to any of what the operators have to say, it's always been interoperability that's been a bug-bear, how they get across being able to choose multi-vendor solutions."
To learn more about NG-PON2 standards, join me at 2017 Fiber Connect in Orlando when I moderate a session on "Ecosystem Overviews," part of the Third Annual NG-PON2 Council Workshop on June 11 from 1:00 pm ET to 6:00 pm ET at the Gaylord Palms Resort. Participants include: Heather Burnett Gold, president and CEO, Fiber Broadband Association; Bernd Hesse, chairman, NG-PON2 Council and senior director Technology Development, Calix; Robert Conger, Carrier Strategy, AVP Technology Group at ADTRAN; and Stephen Hardy of Lightwave.
In a flurry of activity throughout the week, Donald (DJ) LaVoy, Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development at the US Department of Agriculture, and his team spent about $145.8 million in the non-urban or suburban areas of seven states.
Calix reported revenue of $120.19 million – up 4% – in Q4 2019, putting a bounce in the step of company president and CEO Carl Russo and a shine to Calix's ongoing transition from hardware vendor to a provider of platforms enabled by cloud, APIs and subscriber experience.
Looking to curtail e-waste and improve the bottom line, BT will require customers to return routers and set-top boxes, although subscribers will not have to pay a fee when they receive regular broadband equipment.
Deploying DOCSIS 3.1 across its entire footprint gave Rogers Communications the ability to offer speeds of up to 1 Gbit/s,
contributing to a broadband segement that generated about 60% of the Canadian operator's $3.05 billion (US) in Q4 cable earnings.
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