Light Reading

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        ADD A COMMENT
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).


 


 

From The Founder
Against the odds, Huawei is growing its telecoms networking equipment business in the US -- that should be ringing some alarm bells for domestic vendors.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Between the CEOs
Metaswitch's New CEO Martin Lund Discusses His Role

9|2|15   |   11:27   |   (2) comments


Technology industry veteran Martin Lund joins Metaswitch Networks this week as the company's new CEO. In this interview, Lund discusses his new role and the industry's progress with Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders. Lund believes that the industry disruption caused by SDN and NFV is creating opportunities for companies like Metaswitch – network software providers ...
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Nominum on Leveraging the Power of DNS to Deliver Superior Subscriber Experiences

9|2|15   |   07:13   |   (0) comments


Nominum CEO Gary Messiana talks about the challenges service providers face in competing for a much more sophisticated customer, a customer that has heightened expectations for more personalized and compelling digital experiences. Providers are focusing their efforts on delivering higher value subscriber services, retaining their existing customers and increasing ...
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Jeff Miller, ActiveVideo

8|28|15   |   19:05   |   (0) comments


Jeff Miller, President and CEO of ActiveVideo, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the impact of virtualization on the TV and video distribution market.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Vodafone: Mobile Money Is About Customer Trust

8|27|15   |   06.36   |   (0) comments


Light Reading spoke with Vodafone's Ian Ravenscroft about the unique responsibilities and opportunities facing operators handling customers' financial transactions over the network.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Palo Alto Networks on Expanding in the Carrier/Service Provider Market

8|26|15   |   07:54   |   (0) comments


Alfred Lee from Palo Alto Networks tells Steve Saunders about their new chassis-based system, the PA-7080, and how it can benefit service providers compared to legacy firewalls.
LRTV Custom TV
Global Services Forum Preview

8|25|15   |   02:36   |   (0) comments


Light Reading's CEO and Founder Steve Saunders talks about Huawei's upcoming Global Services Forum with the help of Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan and Teresa Mastrangelo.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Infoblox on DNS Threat Index

8|19|15   |   04:39   |   (0) comments


Dilip Pillaipakam from Infoblox talks to Steve Saunders about his company's core network services.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Ihab Tarazi, Equinix

8|14|15   |   20:18   |   (1) comment


Equinix CTO Ihab Tarazi talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the dramatic changes in the data center, cloud and interconnect markets and discusses the impact of SDN and NFV in the coming years.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
The Netformx Ecosystem

8|14|15   |   09:39   |   (1) comment


Ittai Bareket, CEO of Netformx, talks with Steve Saunders about the Netformx Ecosystem, which employs cutting-edge prescriptive analytics to help solution providers maximize profits.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Versa Networks on Leveraging VNFs

8|12|15   |   07:37   |   (0) comments


Kumar Mehta, founder and CEO of stealth mode startup Versa Networks, talks with Steve Saunders about how providers can best leverage virtualized network functions (VNFs).
LRTV Custom TV
Transforming the Network Through OPNFV

8|5|15   |   7:09   |   (0) comments


Sandra Rivera, VP Data Center Group; GM Network Platforms Group, Intel Corporation, on OPNFV Arno and how the industry is coming together to accelerate the deployment of NFV and transform the network.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei ONS Product Demo

8|3|15   |   6:01   |   (0) comments


Huawei shows at Open Networking Summit 2015 in Santa Clara how its SDN and NFV solutions embrace openness.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
November 17, 2015, Santa Clara, California
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Cisco's cloud and virtualization portfolio can increase business agility and innovation by building a more flexible network architecture.
Hot Topics
T-Mobile CEO Plays Data Traffic Cop
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 8/31/2015
CEO Chat With Bill Gates
Steve Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 8/31/2015
Time to Monetize Cable WiFi
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 8/31/2015
Carolina Town Becomes First US 10-Gig City
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 9/3/2015
Eurobites: Anite in OSS Tie-Up With Nokia
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 9/4/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
September 22, 2015
Media Begins With “Me”
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Technology industry veteran Martin Lund joins Metaswitch Networks this week as the company's new CEO. In this interview, Lund discusses his new role and the industry's progress with Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders. Lund believes that the industry disruption caused by SDN and NFV is creating opportunities for companies like Metaswitch – network software providers with the agility to embrace new technologies quickly and the ability to deliver on substantial projects for global network operators.
The scene: Last Saturday, lunchtime, the interior of a shi-shi-foo-foo eatery in Manhattan's SoHo district.
Cats with Phones
It's a New Age... Click Here
When smartphones replace stuffed animals.