This paper will define and compare two classes of access architectures that will emerge this decade for Passive Optical Network (PON). These two classes of access architecture may be referred to as centralized access architecture (CAA) and distributed access architecture (DAA) for PON. The CAA and DAA analysis is well underway for DOCSIS, but 10G EPON may be architected in a similar manner, in terms of splitting the PON access system components between the facility and a remote location, or placing all of the network device functions in a remote location. The DOCSIS use of distributed access architecture can place the MAC and PHY or just the PHY layer in the remote device, such as a node, cabinet, or multiple dwelling unit (MDU) location. The DAA for PON places both the MAC and PHY layers in the remote device. The DAA for PON defines how much of the upper layer functions are placed in the remote device and how much if any of the PON systems remain in the provider facility.