Tied into its emerging fixation on fiber technologies, CableLabs is working on a common provisioning and management platform for XGS-PON, with an eye toward 25GS-PON and future ITU PON standards.

Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor

March 22, 2024

3 Min Read
CableLabs headquarters building in Louisville, Colorado.
(Source: CableLabs)

Amid the launch of new working groups focused on fiber technologies, CableLabs has booted up a plan to develop a common provisioning and management platform for XGS-PON and will explore the same for 25GS-PON and other next-gen International Telecommunication Union (ITU) PON standards.

The key objectives include common service and device configurations and "vendor neutrality," Jon Schnoor, principal architect, wired technologies, CableLabs, explained in this blog post.

(Source: Jeff Baumgartner/Light Reading) CableLabs exec John Schnoor speaks at Cable Next-Gen (CNG) 2024 in Denver.

That work also builds on and expands CableLabs' earlier provisioning work centered on PON, which enabled a DOCSIS translation layer, including DOCSIS Provisioning of EPON (DPoE) and DOCSIS Provisioning of GPON (DPoG).

'Cable profile' for PON configuration and monitoring

Tied into the new project, CableLabs is developing an ONU Management Control Interface (OMCI) "cable profile" that will cover both residential and commercial use cases. That also fits in with the ITU's general use of OMCI to configure and manage an ONU (optical network unit). Boiled down, the cable-adapted form of the OMCI will define a mechanism and massage format that can be used by the OLT (optical line terminal) to configure, manage and monitor ONUs.

CableLabs is recommending that the coming OMCI cable profile can be applied to support both DOCSIS and non-DOCSIS back-office infrastructure, and "improve the interoperability of OLTs and ONU in any use case," Schnoor has explained in the post.

The general idea is to develop for cable what OMCI supports now for other operators that are equipped with their own OMCI profiles, such as Verizon and T-Mobile, Schnoor explained last week at Light Reading's Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies event in Denver.

He said CableLabs' focus on OMCI means it doesn't have to reinvent the wheel to aid cable's adoption of PON technologies and products.

"But we want to make sure we have commonality with the services and the devices," Schnoor said. "We want to make sure there's a common denominator so that we have interoperability."

That project ties into other fiber-focused working groups initiated by CableLabs last year.

"Every major program we have going on at CableLabs includes some type of fiber optics," Schnoor said. "Everything we are working toward will include support for next-gen PON technologies, including coherent PON."

Another fiber-focused working group is focused on optical operations and maintenance, an area that will help cable ops simplify the operations of FTTP networks they are building and launching.

Fixating on fiber

That's all coming together as FTTP and PON become bigger parts of the industry's arsenal as fiber becomes the go-to for greenfield builds, including government-subsidized projects focused on rural areas, and some limited upgrades of existing hybrid fiber/coax (HFC) plant.

It's also coming into focus as others in the industry suggest the cable industry would do well to adopt a "fiber-first" attitude even as operators and their suppliers enhance and advance HFC and DOCSIS technologies.

About the Author(s)

Jeff Baumgartner

Senior Editor, Light Reading

Jeff Baumgartner is a Senior Editor for Light Reading and is responsible for the day-to-day news coverage and analysis of the cable and video sectors. Follow him on X and LinkedIn.

Baumgartner also served as Site Editor for Light Reading Cable from 2007-2013. In between his two stints at Light Reading, he led tech coverage for Multichannel News and was a regular contributor to Broadcasting + Cable. Baumgartner was named to the 2018 class of the Cable TV Pioneers.

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