FTTx PON Architecture Considerations: Distributed Optical Taps (2021)

By Brian Yarbough, Cox Communications, Inc

Passive Optical Networks (PON) have come a long way in the Cox network since our initial Gigabit PON (GPON) deployments over 12 years ago. A key milestone for Cox Communications was the launch of IP Video and Telephony products via GPON in mid-2020, which enabled the elimination of Radio Frequencies over Glass (RFoG) technology and presented an opportunity to re-consider the architecture.

We took this opportunity to relook at our FTTx deployments through a fresh lens and explore opportunities to improve operational efficiencies, including 10G PON evolutions, optical transport, and distribution network architectures.

In particular, the Optical Distribution Network (ODN) approaches were tailored to “right size” the cost and deployment options for the individual application, which led to different approaches for Single Family Units (SFU), Multi-Dwelling Units (MDU) and Commercial Business customers. Each had their own unique ODN architectures, which drove variation and complexity for field teams to support. There was an opportunity to harmonize those approaches with the additional benefit of making them easier to deploy and maintain.

This paper will explore a variety of architectural considerations and logic which drove decision-making around Cox Communication’s next generation Fiber-to-the-X (FTTx) deployments, with a focus on a new approach to optical distribution and splitting methodologies.

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