IEEE SIEPON standard to tackle EPON interoperability

DECEMBER 15, 2009 -- The IEEE Standards Association has approved a new Working Group to develop a new communications standard, IEEE P1904.1, "Standard for Service Interoperability in Ethernet Passive Optical Networks (SIEPON)."

DECEMBER 15, 2009 -- The IEEE Standards Association has approved a new Working Group to develop a new communications standard, IEEE P1904.1, "Standard for Service Interoperability in Ethernet Passive Optical Networks (SIEPON)."

EPON, based on IEEE standards, is the most widely used technology for FTTH/FTTB/FTTX optical access networks, with more than 30 million subscriber lines being served by G-EPON. The IEEE says it expects deployment volumes will soon reach more than 10 million new subscribers annually.

In response to this rapid growth, the market is looking for open, international, system-level specifications that will foster multi-vendor interoperability, in the IEEE’s view. The SIEPON standard project will develop system-level specifications, targeting "plug-and-play" interoperability of the transport, service, and control planes in a multi-vendor environment.

The Working Group for SIEPON will be formed within the IEEE Communication Society (ComSoc), which has sponsored the project. "The IEEE Communications Society sees advancements in FTTx standards and technology as a crucial step toward promoting a sustainable future, efficient work environments, and advanced services," said Dr. Alexander Gelman, chair of the ComSoc Standards Board. "We are very pleased to sponsor this project and are committed to supporting it with ComSoc technical activities, including providing the Working Group access to technical expertise that resides in ComSoc's many Technical Committees."

The specifications developed in the course of the SIEPON project will complement the existing IEEE 802.3 and IEEE 802.1 EPON standards, which ensure the interoperability at the Physical layer and Data Link layer.

IEEE P1904.1 is being developed within the IEEE Standards Association Corporate Program in which each participating member entity (such as corporations or other institutions) has one vote. This industry-oriented program often allows for standards creation in one to two years, the IEEE asserts, depending on participant commitment and the use of IEEE support services. The program also provides a route to international acceptance for a standard based on the IEEE's broad ties to the international standards community.

The Working Group expects to hold its first meeting early in 2010. All parties interested in participating in the P1904.1 project are encouraged to visit the SIEPON Working Group website at http://grouper.ieee.org/groups/1904/1/ for information about the registration process and proposed meeting schedule.

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