Operationalizing the Grey Optics Architecture (2020)

By Venk Mutalik, Dan Rice, Bob Gaydos, Doug Combs & Pat Wike, Comcast

High Speed Data (HSD) customer growth and capacity requirements continue to increase year over year. A Distributed Access Architecture (DAA) provides enhanced upstream and downstream capacity to match demand. Last year, we covered a new approach in DAA called Grey Optics Aggregation (GOA) that provided significant savings and enables DAA deployment at scale regardless of plant density.

This year, we report on the lessons learned during our GOA trials and deployments of the architecture. In addition to proving out the technology and cost benefits in the field and observing its stability, deploying the architecture also enabled us to interconnect and create an ecosystem of remote monitoring and control for the various GOA elements. We will report on our ability to continuously monitor Grey Optical Terminating (GOT) nodes, detect cable modems connected to specific GOT nodes and remotely identify and mitigate ingress in the GOA domain.

Many of the remote techniques were used during the COVID pandemic and can potentially be generalized further to enable remote monitoring and mitigating capabilities across the network. Furthermore, were port on recent work on bi-directional Coherent Optical modules that enable efficient extension of the architecture, which, over a period of time, can create cost effective convergent and scalable “Switch On A Pole” (SOAP) access networks.

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