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SDOs Team Up on PON Convergence

A number of standards development organizations (SDOs) are working to combine their efforts and encourage close cooperation on passive optical network (PON) technology developments.

March 16, 2017

2 Min Read

FREMONT, Calif. -- A group of standards development organization (SDO) representatives have jointly issued a statement on the topic of PON Convergence.

The representatives are:

  • Gregory Bathrick, Co-Director, Broadband Forum Fiber Access Networks Work Area

    • Frank Effenberger, Rapporteur, ITU-T Q2/15 Optical Access Networks

    • Junichi Kani, Chair, Full Service Access Network Group

    • Curtis Knittle, Chair, IEEE P802.3ca 100G EPON Task Force

    • Glen Kramer, Chair, IEEE P1904 Access Networks Working Group

    • Wei Lin, Co-Director, Broadband Forum Fiber Access Networks Work Area

      The statement runs as follows:

      • PON technology has been an integral part of operator networks for a long time, but there have been competing standards since the beginning and it is widely believed that that has been detrimental to the greater deployment of PON. The future evolution of optical access systems is therefore of high interest to all stakeholders in the broadband access industry.

        There are many industry groups involved in setting the technical requirements and specifying the design of such systems. There has been a long-standing desire to bring these groups (and therefore the technologies) into alignment, so that the future systems can be defined clearly and without confusion. We refer to this alignment idea as PON Convergence.

        Recently, the PON Convergence topic was discussed in several ad-hoc sessions at the leading standardization developing organizations. The Broadband Forum-Fiber Access Networks Work Area hosted the first of these meetings on October 27 in Kansas City. The second ad-hoc session was held in conjunction with the ITU-T Q2/15 group meeting on November 17 in Hangzhou. The IEEE 802.3ca task force members had an opportunity to participate in the third ad-hoc session on January 11 in Huntington Beach. Representatives of all sectors of the industry (System and Component vendors, Telephone and Cable system operators) participated in these meetings and many diverse viewpoints were expressed. Various organizational and administrative issues were mentioned, which make formal collaboration difficult; however, one common theme was clear: a converged PON ecosystem was a good idea and in everybody’s interest. Because of this, the progress of PON Convergence will likely be fulfilled through “grass roots” efforts, driven by company contributions across the organizations that support the goal of common specifications wherever possible.

        This view is borne out by history, in that the previous PON systems already have a very high commonality of specifications. This was achieved not through overt organizational agreements, but simply because it was the most economical and practical thing to do. Enlightened self interest is motivation enough for this to happen. The associated SDOs can help this process by nurturing this “grass roots” effort and encouraging close coordination of the relevant parties. This will no doubt involve the exchange of liaison letters, the call for “common" contributions, and the hosting of collocated meetings. In this way the chances for PON convergence will be maximized and we can enable the industry deploying ultra-fast networks.

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