Photon Avatars in the Comcast Cosmos: An End-to-End View of Comcast Core, Metro and Access Networks (2022)

By Venk Mutalik, Steve Ruppa, Fred Bartholf, Bob Gaydos, Steve Surdam, Amarildo Vieira, Dan Rice; Comcast

As the largest broadband company in the US, Comcast serves millions of customers and businesses with a reach that stretches coast to coast. All of this is the result of a large optical network that spans core, metro and access layers with multiple intersecting points all intended to increase capacity, reduce latency, and enhance reliability.

In this paper, we describe for the first time an end-to-end view of our optical network including the core, metro, and access layers. At the core and metro, we increase capacity with a move towards flexible 400G connections and reduce latency and enhance reliability with an infrastructure that meshes color-less, direction-less, and contention-less reconfigurable multiplexers thru to each of our headends. At the access layer that connects these headends to customers and businesses, we discuss capacity increases with our move to all-digital fiber links and the distributed access architecture paradigm. Of note is a cost effective environmentally hardened dual laser bidirectional coherent 100G system and the converging all bidirectional access transmission formats on one single optical fiber. Reliability enhancements accrue with real-time continuous and pervasive optical monitoring of all these access assets. We then briefly describe the infrastructure that helps provision, visualize and event these layers. Finally, we will venture into the future of optical technology at Comcast and its positive impact on network robustness and enhancing the customer experience.

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