Light Reading

Fog Lifting on RFOG

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
3/31/2008
50%
50%

Cable's evolution toward a fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) architecture, particularly in "greenfield" situations, took a formal step forward recently after the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) officially launched a standards effort around the "RF over Glass" (RFOG) project.

The SCTE Engineering Committee approved the RFOG program last fall. The task of crafting the standards has since been handed over to the SCTE Interface Practices Subcommittee. That work got underway in mid-March at SCTE's Exton, Pa., headquarters. (See SCTE Moves on RFOG.)

Development of RFOG will center on a wide range of interfaces that enable new FTTP networks to interconnect with the cable operator's hybrid fiber/coax (HFC) plant and headend environments Some of the RFOG project will involve specifications for elements such as passive splitters and directional couplers, gateway RF levels, gateway environmental requirements, and fiber-optic passive filters.

The standards resulting from RFOG will also aim to ensure that traditional digital set-tops and Docsis modems can run on FTTP plant managed by cable operators.

Real estate developers are pushing service providers for fiber connections, believing the advanced architecture could boost new-home prices. Some developers even appear to be willing to subsidize some of the additive costs a cable operator might be hit with.

The industry's cable FTTP effort has drawn significant interest (and even some new product lines) from a swath of equipment suppliers, including Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT), Calix Networks Inc. (NYSE: CALX), CommScope Inc. , Aurora Networks Inc. , Wave7 Optics Inc. , Alloptic Inc. , and Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS). (See SA Pitches Cable PON, Calix Uses RFOG, Moto Expands 'CablePON' Strategy, and CommScope Sees BrightPath for Cable FTTP.)

It's too early to predict when SCTE will finalize the RFOG standards, but it's clear that plenty of work remains ahead. "I don't know what kind of schedule will result, although I would not expect standards momentarily," SCTE VP of standards Stephen Oksala writes in an email response to Cable Digital News. "It depends on two factors – the speed with which people are willing to set pen to paper, and the degree to which the working group agrees with the details of what gets written down."

Although SCTE has yet to develop those standards, some MSOs, including CableOne and Bresnan Communications LLC , have already begun to deploy or test RFOG-like architectures in the lab or in greenfield developments. Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) has not disclosed any RFOG projects but is said to be among the most interested MSOs.

Still, most view RFOG as an evolutionary path for cable operators.

"We believe, ultimately, that we'll see glass to every house," says Dave Pangrac, CEO of Pangrac & Associates Development Inc., which licenses FTTP tap, NIU, node, and laser technology to some traditional cable vendors that are going after the RFOG segment. "But [cable operators] won't rip out 4,000 to 5,000 miles of HFC plant to put in fiber."

"It's taking shape and we see demand for this type of product... but it's still the very early days in terms of the number of units that are deployed," says John Dahlquist, vice president of marketing for Aurora Networks, which supplies nodes and transmission gear to cable operators.

As for SCTE's involvement in RFOG, some vendors are concerned that developing far-reaching standards too soon could stifle product innovation.

"What's outlined [by SCTE] is a good starting point," Dahlquist says. "By coming up with standards too quickly, you end up putting everyone in one direction and the benefit of getting work going down on one path, but is it the right path?"

As for RFOG's next steps, "Working Group 5 (fiber optic) in our Interface Practices Subcommittee will be developing whatever specifications they think are appropriate," Oskala writes. "There is also an overall architecture specification that will guide them, although that will likely change over time as people get into the details."

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Last week I dropped in on "Hotlanta," Georgia to moderate Light Reading's inaugural DroneComm conference – a unique colloquium investigating the potential for drone communications to disrupt the world's telecom ecosystem. As you will see, it was a day of exploration and epiphany...
LRTV Documentaries
Verizon's Emmons: SDN Key to Cost-Effective Scaling

5|22|15   |   03:53   |   (0) comments


For Verizon and other network operators to ramp up available bandwidth cost effectively, they need to move to SDN and agree on how to do that.
LRTV Documentaries
Lack of Universal SDN a Challenge

5|21|15   |   04:51   |   (3) comments


Heavy Reading Analyst Sterling Perrin talks about how uncertainty about SDN standards and approaches may be slowing deployment.
LRTV Custom TV
Steve Vogelsang Interview: Carrier SDN

5|20|15   |   05:02   |   (0) comments


Sterling Perrin speaks to Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, about the new Carrier SDN-enabling Network Services Platform and the operator challenges it solves.
LRTV Custom TV
Carrier SDN: On-Demand Networks for an On-Demand World

5|20|15   |   20:52   |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, talks about requirements and benefits of Carrier SDN during the keynote address at the Light Reading Carrier SDN event May 2015.
LRTV Documentaries
The Security Challenge of SDN

5|19|15   |   02:52   |   (0) comments


CenturyLink VP James Feger discusses concerns that virtualization could create new vulnerabilities unless network operators build in safeguards.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Elasticity – Highly Available VNF Scale-Out Architectures for the Mobile Edge

5|18|15   |   5:50   |   (0) comments


Peter Marek and Paul Stevens from Advantech Networks and Communications Group talk about their NFV Elasticity initiative and the company's latest platforms for deploying virtual network functions at the edge of the network. Packetarium XL and the new Versatile Server Module: 'designed to reach parts of the network that other servers cannot reach.'
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Bay Area Spark Meetup 2015

5|14|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Developed in 2009, Apache Spark is a powerful open source processing engine built around speed, ease of use and sophisticated analytics. This spring, Huawei hosted a meetup for Spark developers and data scientists in Santa Clara, California. Light Reading spoke with organizers and attendees about Huawei's code contributions and long-term commitment to Spark.
LRTV Custom TV
The Transport SDN Buzz

5|12|15   |   06:01   |   (1) comment


Sterling Perrin, senior analyst at Heavy Reading, speaks with Peter Ashwood-Smith of Huawei and Guru Parulkar of ON.Lab about the evolution of transport SDN and the integration of technologies.
LRTV Custom TV
Next-Generation CCAP: Cisco cBR-8 Evolved CCAP

5|5|15   |   04:49   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explained the innovation design of Cisco's cBR-8, the industry's first Evolved CCAP, including DOCSIS 3.1 design from ground-up, distributed CCAP with Remote PHY and path to virtualization. Cisco's cBR-8 Evolved CCAP is the platform that will last through the transitions.
LRTV Custom TV
Meeting the Demands of Bandwidth & Service Group Growth

5|1|15   |   5:35   |   (0) comments


Jorge Salinger, Comcast's Vice President of Access Architecture, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 and multi-service CCAP can meet the demands of the bandwidth and service group growth.
LRTV Custom TV
DOCSIS 3.1: Transforming Cable From Hardware-Defined Network to Software-Defined Network

4|29|15   |   03:48   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 can transform cable HFC network to a more agile software-defined network.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Predicting Traffic Patterns for Quality Mobile Broadband

4|29|15   |   6:45   |   (0) comments


Accessing information ubiquitously creates complexity and creates heavy traffic onto the network, especially at large-scale events like sporting events or festivals. In this video, Huawei's Mohammad Hussain speaks to experts about how to predict traffic and improve user experience during periods of heavy traffic.
Upcoming Live Events
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Network functions virtualization (NFV) is not the easiest of topics to take on board, so here's a Light Reading infographic, developed following conversations with the folks at HP, that helps make sense of where NFV is taking the industry.
Hot Topics
Verizon Saves 60% Swapping Copper for Fiber
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 5/19/2015
Choosing a Technology Supplier? Consider Changing Your Selection Criteria
Steve Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 5/18/2015
Chattanooga Charts Killer Gigabit Apps
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/20/2015
10 Alternate Uses for Tablets
Eryn Leavens, Copy Desk Editor, 5/22/2015
Smarter 'Dumb' TVs Will Drive OTT Adoption
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/18/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
With 200 customers in 60 countries, Stockholm-based Net Insight has carved out a solid leadership position in one of the hottest vertical markets going in comms right now: helping service providers and broadcasters deliver video and other multimedia traffic over IP networks. How has Net Insight managed to achieve this success in the face of immense competition from the industry giants?
My ongoing interview tour of the leading minds of the telecom industry recently took me to Richardson, Texas, where I met with Rod Naphan, CTO and SVP, Solutions, ...
I recently popped down to Texas to chat with CEO Eric L. Pratt about his company, Taqua.
Cats with Phones