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
Flash Poll
From The Founder
The New IP is actually bigger even than business. Like another hugely important tech that Light Reading is digging into right now, the New IP has the potential to change the world by fundamentally advancing what it is possible for people to achieve with communications.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Shares Its Vision of the Future of Mobile Networks Innovations

2|26|15   |   2:30   |   (0) comments


Mobile broadband is changing our lives. It's reshaping the Internet, industry, and society. It allows us to freely connect with one another anytime, anywhere. At this year's Mobile World Congress, Huawei will share its latest insights and newest ideas and technologies that will shape the future of MBB. They will showcase their end-to-end MBB solutions that will ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accelerate Digitizing, Boost Digital Business

2|26|15   |   6:14   |   (0) comments


A new digital revolution is leading us to a better connected world. Together with millions of digital partners, Huawei will help CSPs to build their digital service ecosystem and aggregate a wide variety of digital services. In this video, we find out how Huawei is going to help CSPs implement digital operations.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Secret Recipe to Enabling Hyper-Growth Industries

2|26|15   |   3:38   |   (0) comments


With a number of successful cases on network capability exposure, Huawei is going to share the secret recipe to enabling hyper-growth markets with a step-by-step approach.
LRTV Documentaries
BTE 2015 Is Bigger & Even Better

2|25|15   |   03:13   |   (4) comments


This year's Big Telecom Event (BTE) in Chicago is going to provide more opportunities than ever for networking, getting to grips with key industry challenges and opportunities and, equally as important, having some fun.
LRTV Interviews
Light Reading ICT Leaders Roundtable at MWC 2015

2|12|15   |   1:07   |   (2) comments


On Sunday March 1, 2015, Light Reading will host an ICT Leaders Roundtable in partnership with Huawei. At this half-day event, CIOs, analysts and researchers will discuss key industry trends like virtualization in the cloud with a specific focus on new business models. Located at the luxurious Renaissance Hotel near the Fira Barcelona, space is limited so please ...
LRTV Documentaries
Going Green in 2015

2|12|15   |   02:04   |   (0) comments


Energy efficiency is set to be an incredibly hot topic in the telecom industry this year.
LRTV Custom TV
SDN & NFV: Where Are We Going From Here?

2|11|15   |   11:27   |   (0) comments


Vitesse Semiconductor CTO Martin Nuss gives his perspective on why SDN and NFV should be tightly interconnected and how he sees the industry moving forward.
LRTV Documentaries
Time for Gigabit Europe?

2|9|15   |   01:27   |   (4) comments


Gigabit broadband networks are springing up all around the US and they'll soon become more commonplace in Europe.
LRTV Interviews
Brocade Brings New IP Vision to 2020 Vision Executive Summit

2|3|15   |   4:23   |   (0) comments


In December 2014, Light Reading gathered telecom executives in Reykjavik, Iceland to discuss their vision for high-capacity networks through the end of the decade. The intimate, interactive meeting was set against the backdrop of Iceland's spectacular natural beauty. As one of the event's founding sponsors, Brocade's Kelly Herrell shared his company's strategy at ...
LRTV Interviews
Brocade's Kelly Herrell on the New IP

2|2|15   |   12:36   |   (0) comments


In December 2014, Steve Saunders sat down with Brocade VP of Software Networking Kelly Herrell at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Reykjavik, Iceland. They spoke about Brocade's approach to the New IP, the future of the telecom industry, and more.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Dr. Dong Sun Talks About Carriers' Digital Transformation & Huawei’s Telco OS

1|29|15   |   6:28   |   (0) comments


Dr. Dong Sun, Chief Architect of Digital Transformation Solutions at Huawei, discusses how telecom operators can become digital ecosystem enablers and deliver optimal user experiences that are in real-time, on-demand, all-online, DIY and social (ROADS).
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Chief Network Architect Talks about Network Experience & Operators’ Strategies

1|29|15   |   3:39   |   (0) comments


In the digital age, network experience has become the primary productivity especially for telecom operators. In this video, Wenshuan Dang, Huawei’s Chief Network Architect, discusses how carriers can tackle the challenge of infrastructure complexity in order to enhance business agility and improve user experience.
Upcoming Live Events
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Net neutrality, broadband services and the current outlook on data consumption, as presented by the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Hot Topics
Cyber Security Expert Warns: You're Doing It Wrong
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/23/2015
10 Weirdly Useful IoT Devices
Eryn Leavens, Copy Desk Editor, 2/24/2015
Small Cells Enabling Location Services
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/25/2015
FCC Adopts Title II Rules
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 2/26/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Check out Light Reading's interview with Jay Samit, the newly appointed CEO of publicly traded SeaChange International Inc. With a resume that includes Sony, EMI, and Universal, Samit brings a reputation as an entrepreneur and a disruptor to his new role at the video solutions company. Hear what he had to say about the opportunities in video, as well as the outlook for cable, telco, OTT and mobile service providers.
G'day! And welcome to an entirely new feature on Light Reading -- our weekly "CEO-to-CEO" interview.