Continued growth in residential data, voice and video traffic is a success story that has driven MSOs to increase throughput capability in all parts of their networks. When increasing throughput capacity, different parts of the end-to-end network require different approaches. In the access (or “distribution”) part of the network there have been advances in optical technology that lend themselves to being a rapidly deployable, robust, cost effective solution. Multi-Wavelength Access Networks are an additional tool in the cable operator’s toolbox that will allow MSOs to increase throughput capacity or provide additional services on their existing infrastructure at significantly less cost than new fiber construction.
This paper will lay out a practical guide to implementation of multi-wavelength access networks. It will first present a model that explains the various benefits and trade-offs of implementing Multi-Wavelength Access Networks. The paper will then document all the optical impairments that accrue within access networks, and conclude with recommendations for the practical implementation of multi-wavelength systems.