Light Reading
Comcast exec says economics and interoperability are among the key reasons why cable is applying Docsis-style provisioning to EPON

Why Cable Hearts EPON

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
12/8/2010
50%
50%

Nothing against GPON, but there are plenty of reasons why the cable industry has decided to apply Docsis-style provisioning to EPON as MSOs look to go up market and deliver broadband services to mid-sized businesses.

And those reasons extend to good ol' economics as well as the technical path EPON is currently on, Doug Jones, the VP of access technologies at Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), said last week at Light Reading Cable's The Future of Cable Business Services conference in New York City.

For starters, EPON, an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. (IEEE) standard, is "nicely priced" and offers gear from multiple suppliers as MSOs figure out how to affix Docsis-based order entry and management tools to the technology, Jones said.

"The economics of EPON and GPON are about the same," he added.

EPON is also symmetric, and appears to be on a quicker path to symmetric 10Gbit/s speeds, while XG-PON is likely still two years out. And Jones likes EPON's upgrade path, noting that MSOs will be able to swap in 10-Gig cards and turn up services without changing out the customer-facing EPON equipment. "Upgrading to 10-Gig is as seamless as it can be," he said. (See Moto Finishes Two XG PON Trials and Verizon: Huawei No Shoo-In for XG PON .)

Cable all but hitched its fiber-fed, commercial services wagon to EPON this fall when CableLabs announced the imminent release of the DPoE (Docsis Provisioning over EPON) specifications, citing backing from major MSOs such as Comcast, Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), and Bright House Networks . DPoE is expected to factor in significantly as cable operators more aggressively extend Metro Ethernet services to businesses with up to 100 employees, and possibly more than that later on. (See Docsis Gets Its EPON On, Docsis to Get EPON Provisioning, Comcast Chases Big[ger] Business , and Cable's $5B Biz Services Bonanza .)

DPoE "spoofs" the Docsis back-office, meaning cable won't have to learn a new system and train people to operate it. "Why reinvent the wheel?" Jones asks.

Cable's also happy that EPON equipment offers MSOs a cross-section of interoperable gear, which gives EPON vendors an entrée into this new market while allowing MSOs to still buy off-the-shelf equipment and preserve their Docsis back-office investments.

DPoE: What's next?
Cable will soon be putting that theory to the test. Jones said the first DPoE CableLabs interop is scheduled for the third week of January, with additional interops slated for every subsequent quarter through 2011.

Cable's also working on a "Phase II" DPoE platform that will add support for elements such as E-Line and ELAN. Jones anticipates that piece to be done in time for the 2011 Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) Cable-Tec Expo, slated for Nov. 15-17 in Atlanta.

Jones said Comcast is testing EPON and DPoE in the lab, predicting that the MSO could begin to deploy the technology "in a few markets starting next year."

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

(9)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
spc_markl
50%
50%
spc_markl,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:16:26 PM
re: Why Cable Hearts EPON


One of the biggest reasons for cable TV companies moving in an EPON direction is just for the superficial reason of wanting to be different than the telcos.


Mark, Telecom Pragmatics

Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:16:25 PM
re: Why Cable Hearts EPON


Heh, well that too. I've also had some folks play off to me in the past that EPON is more cable-friendly in general. JB

paolo.franzoi
50%
50%
paolo.franzoi,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:16:25 PM
re: Why Cable Hearts EPON


 


I think that is a really good statement Jeff.  It is a great way to justify the difference.  But seriously, the technology is not friendlier...the standards bodies MIGHT be friendlier.


 


seven


 

Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:16:23 PM
re: Why Cable Hearts EPON


 Thanks, that makes alot of sense, too. Also was told that some MSOs -- Cox and Buckeye, for example-- started using GPON because they got into this early.  Probably makes some sense to circle back to those guys to see if they have any changes in store. Buckeye's also a CLEC, so it may just stick w/what it's got. Cox, meanwhile, is absent from the public list of DPoE backers CableLabs shared when the specs were announced, so they may be taking a pass on EPON for now since they've already picked a horse and switchouts probably make no sense at this point.... or perhaps they can go with EPON in the new deployment areas.  JB

Galileo
50%
50%
Galileo,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:16:22 PM
re: Why Cable Hearts EPON


This is not necessarily true. MSOs are looking at business services and for those EPON offers something that GPON can't - being symmetrical. Which for many business applications can be very important.


There is also a trend of using off-the-shelf demarcation solution that Telco are using in EPON environment, allowing to benefit from the MEF standards as well as the EPON capabilities.


 

victorblake
50%
50%
victorblake,
User Rank: Lightning
12/5/2012 | 4:16:19 PM
re: Why Cable Hearts EPON


I'm sure it has nothing to do with the 40M+ EPON ports deployed globally. It couldn't possibly be because it's been around longer, it's more mature, lower cost, there are more vendors, it HAS a 10G standard (symmetric), it's 10G standard is backwards compatible, and OH BTW, even ITU-T will eventually standarize on the 10G-EPON PHY.


If GPON is so great, why are the GPON ONLY (chip set and system) vendors building OMCI for EPON ? Why ? Because they are preparing for their move to EPON. That's why.


And if anyone did their actual homework they'd know where EPON was already deployed in North America.


 

paolo.franzoi
50%
50%
paolo.franzoi,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:16:19 PM
re: Why Cable Hearts EPON


 


So, PON is simply awful for anything except T-1 replacement style services.  Redundancy is simply not there.


Now, as to symmetry....GPON can easily support symmetrical services and does.


seven


 

spc_markl
50%
50%
spc_markl,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:16:19 PM
re: Why Cable Hearts EPON


GPON is far from being perfect.  However, I firmly believe that an objective look at all of the evidence shows that EPON equipment falls short of being as attractive to deploy as GPON hardware for any applications.  Unfortunately, when it comes to Ethernet, these arguments can turn into religious battles.  We can go back and forth 500 times and I am probably not going to convince you and you are probably not going to convince me.  That being said, I still respect your point of view.


Mark

opticalwatcher
50%
50%
opticalwatcher,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:16:15 PM
re: Why Cable Hearts EPON


Victorblake,


Do a Google search for XGPON2--10G symetrical and backward compatible.


No need for religious wars.  ITU will have standards for both, since EPON and GPON are both widely used throughout the world and COs will want to minimize their upgrade costs. (see G.987).


 


 

Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Documentaries
EE: The Road to 5G

12|16|14   |   16:02   |   (1) comment


Andy Sutton, the principal network architect at UK mobile operator EE, explains how his company is using Wembley stadium as a wireless test bed and how that's helping EE to plan the evolution to 5G.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Highlights of Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014

12|16|14   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei hosted its inaugural NFV Open Cloud Forum during the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014 in Düsseldorf, Germany. The Forum brought together technology thought leaders, senior executives and telecom professionals from global carriers, industry associations, as well as other partner companies in the ecosystem, to exchange views on and collectively explore how ...
LRTV Custom TV
Realizing Operators' Digital Vision

12|16|14   |   5:23   |   (0) comments


Leveraging technology is fundamental to digital transformation but understanding customers and serving them really well is at the heart of digital businesses. TM Forum lists the following as the strategic pillars of the digital business: business agility and rapid innovation, operational agility and effectiveness, IT and data centricity, plus customer centricity. ...
LRTV Documentaries
US Cellular Injects Analytics Into LTE

12|16|14   |   2:57   |   (1) comment


US Cellular's Mario Vela explains how the operator uses analytics for network planning and what comes next as the carrier looks to eke more value out of its metrics.
LRTV Interviews
How Cox Biz Plans to Keep Growing

12|15|14   |     |   (1) comment


Steve Rowley, SVP of Cox Business, details how the third-biggest US MSO intends to boost its revenues to $2 billion and beyond over the rest of the decade
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Bill Zhang, Director of SoftCOM Product Management, Huawei

12|15|14   |   2:50   |   (0) comments


Bill Zhang elaborated on Huawei's open philosophy in NFV solution development and network architecture design at the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Event Highlights: Huawei at SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014

12|15|14   |   3:43   |   (0) comments


Huawei joined the 2014 SDN & OpenFlow Congress as one of the key sponsors and contributors. At the event, Huawei reinforced the openness and flexibility of its network infrastructure strategies, and provided updates on its SDN and NVF innovations. Through participations at the exhibitions, forums and speeches, Huawei encouraged the industry to "think bigger and ...
LRTV Interviews
How Cable Biz Services Hit $10B Mark

12|12|14   |     |   (1) comment


Cable operators reached $10 billion in annual business services revenues by delving deeper into their vertical markets and expanding beyond the smallest firms.
LRTV Documentaries
Mediacom Aims to Test Connected Tractors

12|11|14   |   05:07   |   (3) comments


Cable business service provider is taking its services to the 'agribusiness' sector in partnership with farm equipment specialist John Deere and is getting involved in Gigabit Cities developments.
LRTV Interviews
TWC Business Looks Beyond $3B

12|10|14   |     |   (0) comments


TWC Business Services chief Phil Meeks explains how his unit has reached $3 billion in annual revenues and what its plans are for next year.
LRTV Documentaries
AT&T's New Security Strategy

12|10|14   |   02:36   |   (1) comment


AT&T's Chief Security Officer Ed Amoroso explains how his company is wrapping virtual security layers around micro network domains.
LRTV Documentaries
2020 Vision: A First View

12|9|14   |   02:25   |   (3) comments


At the 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Iceland, unique Heavy Reading research shows that comms service providers are optimistic about the next five or so years.
Upcoming Live Events
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
April 14, 2015, New York City, NY
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Hot Topics
Vodafone to Ride T-Mobile Back Into US
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 12/12/2014
1-Gig: Coming to a Small Town Near You
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 12/17/2014
Cisco Makes Big Analytics Push
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 12/11/2014
Gardner's Departure a Cautionary Tale
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 12/12/2014
T-Mobile Lights Up 27 Wideband LTE Cities
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 12/15/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive