10 Gbps fibre-to-the-home signed off, ITU eyes 100 Gbps future

Standards bods race to catch up with deployments

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The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has kicked off standardisation for symmetrical 10 Gbps optical broadband services over 20 km.

The standard for XGS-PON, ITU G.9807.1, sets down an upgrade path for existing PON (passive optical network) deployments such as fibre-to-the-home. As the ITU's statement notes, it's designed to reuse existing PON standards wherever it can.

“The physical layer of XGS-PON follows XG-PON (ITU-T G.987.2) and 10GE-PON (IEEE Standard 802.3). The standard fully supports operators’ use of existing 10 Gbps symmetric transceiver components”, the statement notes, probably reflecting the input of carriers that have already announced or started deploying 10 Gbps residential fibre services.

For example in Singapore, Singtel announced a 10 Gbps service in May 2015, an announcement followed by local competitor M1 in August.

Other standards absorbed into the symmetric 10 Gbps spec include the NG-PON2 protocol layer (ITU-T G.989.3) and XG-PON (ITU-T G.987.3); and the existing ITU-T G.988 is used for optical network unit (ONU) management and control.

This is nowhere near the end of the line for fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) in terms of speed. The ITU also notes that it's working on putting even higher data rate wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) into FTTH.

At 25 Gbps per wavelength, the standards-setters have 100 Gbps home services in their sights.

On the way to those dizzy heights, the ITU also approved a revision to the NG-PON physical layer spec. NG-PON2-compliant kit will support either 2.5 Gbps or 10 Gbps connections, and it is compatible with older G-PON specs in areas such as the wavelength plan. ®


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