Cable Prepares to Blend Docsis With EPON

Cable's lovefest with EPON is going to another level with the launch of a new CableLabs qualification program for EPON gear that uses Docsis-style provisioning.

The test plan represents the next step in the CableLabs Docsis Provision of EPON (DPoE) project introduced in the fall of 2010. The resulting specs (the 1.0 version was published in March 2011) will give cable a common way to graft their Docsis provisioning systems to the EPON world, something MSOs are keen to do as they continue to deploy EPON, primarily for business-class services.

And the vendors are already lining up. Nineteen suppliers, including Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS), Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM), Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763), participated in CableLabs's fourth DPoE interop in December.

The test program is an offshoot of the CableLabs Docsis program, but the R&D house has yet to say when it expects to conduct the first official DPoE test wave. CableLabs has another seven Docsis test waves scheduled for 2012. CableLabs also has not released what it will charge vendors for DPoE qualification testing, but, by way of example, testing a Docsis cable modem termination system (CMTS) runs $175,000.

Why this matters
With the cable industry picking EPON as its PON flavor of choice, DPoE will let MSOs and Docsis vendors preserve their legacy provisioning systems. The qualification program looks to ensure that DPoE-based gear is interoperable, giving MSOs the ability to buy from an array of vendors.

For more
Read more about cable's growing love for EPON.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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