The IEEE Standards Board has announced the approval of an amendment to the ethernet standard (802.3) which adds a new specification for 10Gbps on point-to-multipoint passive optical networks used for FTTH rollouts like Australia's NBN.

The 802.3 amendment is known as the IEEE 802.3av standard, being - quote from their web site - a "Standard for Information Technology - Telecommunications and Information Exchange Between Systems - Local and Metropolitan Area Networks - Specific Requirements Part 3: Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detection (CSMA/CD) Access Method and Physical Layer Specifications Amendment: Physical Layer Specifications and Management Parameters for 10Gb/s Passive Optical Networks." A bit of a mouthful I know, but it is an important annoucement considering some of the debates on architecture surround the NBN at the moment.

According to David Law, chair, IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Working Group, "The 10G-EPON standard enables the network operators to significantly increase the performance of their point-to-multipoint architectures, supporting emerging bandwidth-intensive services, while simultaneously lowering the costs related to equipment, operation, upgrade and maintenance."

Glen Kramer, chair, IEEE P802.3av 10G-EPON Task Force, added: "The 10G-EPON standard provides the highest data rate among all existing access technologies. In addition, 10G-EPON is designed to coexist with previous generation EPON on the same network, allowing mixed deployments and targeted, one-user-at-a-time, upgrades." This is achieved by using different wavelengths to the existing EPON (802.3ah) standards dispelling one of the myths created by the PtP vendors that there is no inplace upgrade path for EPON. The new 10G EPON standard supports symmetric (10/10G) and asymmetric (10/1G) line-rate operations.

More than 40 companies participated in the development of the standard. They include Alloptic - which is used by a number of carriers in Australia including Opticomm and BES - along with Huawei, NEC, Mitsubishi and Fujitsu. Two vendors missing from the working group are Alcatel and Ericsson - both of whom support the GPON standard with their equipment.

The IEEE web site for this standardard can be found here.


At 13 September, 2009 20:31 Anonymous said...


Is it likely that we will see 10G EPON for the NBN or will it cost too much ?


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