Powering the Near Future 10G Access Network: Considerations for Assuring Sufficient and Reliable Power (2020)

By Rob Anderson, EnerSys Energy Systems

The 10G initiative is the catalyst behind several technology innovations designed to deliver future proof internet speeds up to 100 times faster than most consumers are experiencing today. These innovations will affect every aspect of the broadband network including headends, the access network and the customer premises. The access network specifically must undergo enhancements to support performance levels envisioned by the 10G initiative. Many of these network revisions involve technology that is either new or under development. Operators will need to make decisions about implementing new technology to be certain that their networks will be able to handle whatever is coming. A service provider’s existing network architecture along with the cost for upgrades will steer operators towards the technologies right for their needs. Network upgrade options may include anything from standard node splits and remote PHY (R-PHY) node upgrades to potentially disruptive technologies like 5G fixed wireless or fiber overlays. Regardless of the network upgrade specifics, power is a common requirement for any network.

Assuring the availability of additional, reliable and intelligent power for the 10G capable network is both essential and challenging since network architectures are evolving and much of the 10G enabling technology is still being developed. In this paper we address the access network powering challenge by providing operators with a set of powering guidelines. Our objective is to help ensure that sufficient, reliable network power is available, irrespective of the specific technologies implemented to meet network performance objectives. We accomplish this by first describing a 10G reference access network.

Our reference network includes architectures and technologies that are both current and that are under development. Next, we overlay our reference network with the appropriate powering architecture.

Existing hybrid fiber coax (HFC) powering infrastructure is re-used wherever practical. Some new 10G network elements may require new and innovative powering options. While no single service provider would incorporate every element of our 10G reference network, operators can plan powering strategies to support those network upgrades that will meet their future performance goals.

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