Verizon Spells Out 100 Mbit/s

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) is admitting that its 100-Mbit/s plans will come with a few caveats.

That's not to say 100 Mbit/s, even a bit diluted, is child's play. Verizon has come forward as the only major U.S. carrier to say that delivering 100 Mbit/s to the individual home is on its radar. (See Verizon Leads the Great 100-Mbit/s Bandwidth Race.) It's just that getting there won't be easy.

Luckily, Verizon won't have to saturate its network with 100-Mbit/s lines. "At any stage we don't have 32 people looking for 100-Mbit/s service," says Vincent O'Byrne, director of access technologies at Verizon. "We would do some oversubscription."

That means Verizon is betting that whenever 100 Mbit/s first becomes a reality, the demand will be minimal. "It's not likely that everyone would want it," says O'Byrne. "It would be a small percentage of people in any neighborhood."

Good thing, too. Verizon says that most of its central offices serve about 15,000 to 20,000 homes. Simple math would dictate that to bring 100 Mbit/s to each of those homes would require at least 1.5 Tbit/s of bandwidth going into each central office. That of course is not how things work now.

While Verizon's migration from BPON to GPON will play a big role in the movement towards 100 Mbit/s, traffic management will be just as significant.

"When you oversubscribe, you have aggregators behind the OLT [optical line terminal] which take advantage of the dead space of the transmission from one OLT to another," says O'Byrne. "It is taking advantage of statistical multiplexing and the fact that not everyone is accessing that 100 Mbit/s at the same time."

In the long run, Verizon is considering the possibility of upgrading its network with Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM), or WDM-PON. This technology sends a full wavelength to each house, greatly increasing the potential capacity of each fiber.

"We're making sure that when we deploy our GPONs, that we have the capability when there is a need, to increase our network's output. Part of our overall strategy is to make sure our network can evolve to WDM," says O'Byrne.

For now though, O'Byrne says that Verizon is expecting GPON to have a long lifespan that won't get cut short by WDM-PON.

"There are different substantiations of WDM," O'Byrne says. "There are some variants that allow you to evolve off the present GPON, and they sort of become another GPON channel."

But even with network capacity upgrades, oversubscription, and multiplexing, signing up for 100-Mbit/s service won't mean you'll get that bandwidth all the time. "100 Mbit/s isn't guaranteed," O'Byrne says. "If you ran a test on the network, it would read 100 Mbit/s, but if enough people were demanding it at the same time, we couldn't guarantee each would get the 100 Mbit/s."

— Raymond McConville, Reporter, Light Reading

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NoCopper 12/5/2012 | 2:57:34 PM
re: Verizon Spells Out 100 Mbit/s I wonder why Verizon is upgrading to GPON, while considering WDM-PON only as a future option. At least in Korea, WDM-PON with 100M per sub is deployed today:


Is Korea so much different to the NA market?

If the GPON / EPON vendors will keep their promises, we'll see 10G versions of these PON variants earliest in 2009. As cost is key in the access market, it will be interesting to see how the evolved WDM-PON and those upcoming TDM PON variants will then compete in cost.
Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 2:57:34 PM
re: Verizon Spells Out 100 Mbit/s > Is Korea so much different to the NA market?

Oh, come on. You know the answer to that. :)

Demand in the U.S. is probably too sparse to justify full-blown WDM-PON. Not many people need dedicated wavelengths yet, and if you believe Verizon's math (or AT&T's for that matter), even HD television won't get them there.
paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 2:57:33 PM
re: Verizon Spells Out 100 Mbit/s
Time OUT.

The WDM PON in Korea (still very small deployment) is many times the cost of GPON and has the disadvantage that the technology chosen is stuck at 100 Mb/s. To go beyond that, Technology will have to change considerably and THAT technology, while available, is unbelievably expensive (Imagine the appetite for $5000 ONTs).

And yet, there seems no pressing need for ANYONE to introduce higher rates - again as Verizon admitted (and if you ask KT you will find the same) - there is oversubscription right at the edge. Go check out the uplink from the WDM PON box (Hint: it is NOT a dedicated 100Mb/s even through the OLT). So, it is a nice story but is NOT a dedicated 100Mb/s even out of the access box.

NoCopper 12/5/2012 | 2:57:33 PM
re: Verizon Spells Out 100 Mbit/s Please don't argue based on the current equipment cost. We all know that cost comes down with mass volume and that the WDM-PON technical/physical concept will allow for low cost equipment.

I guess if you refer to the overbooking in the OLT you mean the LG-Nortel OLT? Certainly some smart company can come up with an WDM-PON OLT that is none-blocking by design.
paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 2:57:33 PM
re: Verizon Spells Out 100 Mbit/s

No, there is no low cost solution for WDM-PONs. There will have to be a new generation of thinking before such parts could exist. Have you actually thought about the components involved? If so and you think they will be cheap anytime soon, you are on something.

It is possible to build an OLT that is not oversubcribed today. Of course, nobody - including the Koreans - want to pay for it. You can do the math on your own. 500 Users @ 100 Mb/s (carry the 12...add in pi....divide by the square root of Oprah...). Yes, thats right 500 users require 50 Gb/s. Not terrible right? Of course, now go to that 25K line CO (whoops need 50 Gb/s * 500). That is why the oversubscription is present and makes the reality of this so much less important.

Kreskin 12/5/2012 | 2:57:32 PM
re: Verizon Spells Out 100 Mbit/s

This is outstanding PR spin by Verizon ... all the techno phoebes want to debate WDM and other technology in Korea!!!

Verizon knows it can deliver 100 mbs to any home or business at any time with fiber. The PR spin is to make sure regulators believe that there are technology obstacles.

VZ et all need more time to build out fiber before they let the cat out of the bag on this.

The last thing VZ wants is Congress back pettaling and modifying the Comm Act.

Copper is dead.
LightSentry 12/5/2012 | 2:57:32 PM
re: Verizon Spells Out 100 Mbit/s So, with all the capacity and flexibility that PON provides it is amazing that some folks still try to push Active Ethernet to FTTH deployments.

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 2:57:32 PM
re: Verizon Spells Out 100 Mbit/s

Ah....at least somebody else sees the point. Now, just for the math inclined out there. Imagine a days when P2P reigned. Now, use only DSL (and heck cable) to connect to the Internet backbone. Now that we would have computer to computer driven sessions instead of human to computer driven sessions, you will see the glaring need for more fiber in the backbone. Of course, nobody gets paid more money for fiber in the backbone for High Speed Internet service. They do get paid for a higher bit rate on the access port.

Interesting to note that last bit.

OldPOTS 12/5/2012 | 2:57:32 PM
re: Verizon Spells Out 100 Mbit/s seven,
Glad you see the need for all that new fiber for 'long haul'.

jepovic 12/5/2012 | 2:57:31 PM
re: Verizon Spells Out 100 Mbit/s :-)

Of course, 100 Mbit/s has been available for a couple of years now in some European and Asian countries (roughly $50/mo in Sweden). Even 1 Gbit/s services are available in some cities. Based on regular LAN switches in the basement with CAT6 cabling to each apartment, of course.

With that model, more money is spent on cabling, but far less money on equipment. It seems a whole lot more future-proof though, I mean Verizon is talking about the next upgrade even though they just started rolling out the latest generation of gear.

If you ask me, there are two possible reasons for this:
* Regulatory reasons. FTTH could easily be unbundled, PON is messy.
* Operators have been fooled by vendors. It does happen, you know. PBT, anyone?
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