Navigating the XGSPON Journey From an MSO Perspective (2023)

By Derek Lee, Rogers Communications Inc.; Giancarlo Urbani, Rogers Communications Inc.

More than ever Multiple System Operators (MSOs) are faced with unprecedented network capacity demand. Internet traffic growth, online gaming, video streaming services with higher resolution and higher bit rates, and video conference calls from work-from-home customers are among the contributors to consumer demand. Beyond the need to support the actual required capacity, MSOs are often pressured by their telco competitors on speed offerings from their fiber-to-the-home networks. While MSOs continue to extend the runway of their Hybrid Fiber Coax (HFC) infrastructure with new DOCSIS technologies such as DOCSIS 4.0 and Distributed Access Architecture (DAA), many cable operators have also started exploring or deploying Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) Passive Optical Network (PON) as a way to address customer capacity demand, as well as to compete with telco’s high speed service offerings. This paper will share some of the technical analysis process and decisions Rogers made in navigating our journey to deploy FTTH 10Gbps symmetrical passive optical network (XGSPON), and the technology, deployment and operational lessons learnt along our journey. Note that this paper is not intended to be a technical deep dive of the gigabit-capable passive optical network (GPON) or ethernet passive optical network (EPON) standards or implementation best practice, as there are plenty of resources readily accessible from CableLabs, ITU, IEEE and other industry bodies. Instead, this paper will focus on sharing Rogers’s PON journey from defining the PON architecture, the pros and cons of all the technical assessments and decisions we had to make, and the lessons learnt from a cable operator’s perspective in implementing and operationalizing PON.

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