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FTTx Rollouts

A passive optical network (PON) is a system that brings optical fiber cabling and signals, all or most of the way to the end user. Depending on where the PON terminates, the system can be described as fiber-to-the-curb (FTTC), fiber-to-the-building (FTTB), or fiber-to-the-home (FTTH). A PON consists of an Optical Line Termination (OLT) at the communication company's office and a number of Optical Network Units (ONUs) near end users. Typically, up to 32 ONUs can be connected to an OLT. The word ‘passive’ simply describes the fact that optical transmission has no power requirements or active electronic parts, once the signal is going through the network.

​All PON systems have essentially the same theoretical capacity at the optical level. The limits on upstream and downstream bandwidth are set by the electrical overlay. PON systems typically have downstream capacity of 155 Mbps or 622 Mbps, with the latter now the most common. Upstream transmission is in the form of cell bursts at 155 Mbps. Multiple users of a PON could be allocated portions of this bandwidth.

​GPON has a variety of speed options ranging from 622 Mbps symmetrical to 2.5 Gbps downstream and 1.25 Gbps upstream. GPON is also based on ATM transport. GPON is the type of PON most widely deployed in today's fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) networks in new installations and is generally considered suitable for consumer broadband services for the next five to 10 years.

​Thus, Fiber to the x (FTTx) is a collective term for various optical fiber delivery topologies that are categorized according to where the fiber terminates. Optical fiber is already used for long-distance parts of the network, but copper cabling has traditionally been used for the stretches from the telecom facilities to the customer. FTTx deployments cover varying amounts of that last distance.

​In an FTTN (fiber to the node or fiber to the neighbourhood) deployment, the optical fiber terminates in a cabinet which may be as much as a few miles from the customer premises. The cabling from the street cabinet to customer premises is usually copper.

​In an FTTC (fiber to the curb or fiber to the cabinet) deployment, optical cabling usually terminates within 300 yards of the customer premises. In an FTTB (fiber to the building or fiber to the basement) deployment, optical cabling terminates at the building, which is typically multi-unit. Delivery of service to individual units from the terminus may be through any of a number of methods. In an FTTH (fiber to the home) deployment, optical cabling terminates at the individual home or business.

While FTTH promises connection speeds of up to 100 Mbps -- 20 to 100 times as fast as a typical cable modem or DSL connection - implementing FTTH on a large scale is costly because it will require installation of new cable sets over the "last links" from existing optical fiber cables to individual users.​

​With bandwidth demand growing faster than revenues, operators are boosting network capacity by rapidly shifting to FTTx. In a context of high pressure on cost and decreasing level of optical expertise in the field, FTTx/PON network  testing is a necessity throughout all stages of the network lifecycle. We provide network operators with the expert testing knowledge, tools and environment they need to bridge the OPEX gap created by the increased bandwidth demand. With field-proven methods and procedures, smart and integrated test solutions and cloud-based data management, FTTH networks can now be deployed reliably and cost-effectively.