ATIS releases Optical Access Networks Assessment and Work Plan

SEPTEMBER 20, 2007 -- According to ATIS, the "Assessment and Work Plan" provides an assessment of the processes, standards, and specifications that need to be defined and/or refined to enable successful deployment of GPON technology in North America.

SEPTEMBER 20, 2007 -- Standards development and technical planning organization ATIS (search for ATIS) has announced the release of its "Optical Access Networks Assessment and Work Plan," completed by the Optical Access Networks Focus Group (OAN-FG) and approved by the ATIS Board of Directors. According to ATIS, the "Assessment and Work Plan" provides an analysis of GPON-based optical access systems and specifications, including an assessment of the processes as well as standards and specifications that need to be defined and/or refined to enable successful deployment of GPON (search for GPON) technology in North America.

The "Assessment and Work Plan" notes high-priority areas in which standards and industry agreements must be developed. These include a more detailed GPON architecture, the policing/marking functions required of the optical network terminal (search for ONTs), and preferred methods for providing network timing for Ethernet-sourced optical line terminals (search for OLTs), says the organization. The report notes that development of system-level implementation agreements and organizational processes/resource allocation for interoperability testing is also needed.

"Through the "OAN Assessment and Workplan," ATIS and its members have made a major step towards achieving true system-level interoperability for GPON," contends Kevin Schneider, CTO of ADTRAN and the OAN-FG Chair. "These recommendations and work items will help develop and coordinate the standards, implementation agreements, and interoperability testing venues to meet that goal."

"While the work of the OAN-FG involved ATIS members, it has an impact beyond the ATIS organization," add Susan Miller, president and CEO of ATIS. "It sets the groundwork for the cooperation and dialogue between ATIS and other standards developers, including the FSAN, DSL Forum, and ITU-T, which is necessary for ensuring interoperable optical networks in North America and globally."

Specifically, highlights of the report's recommendation include the following:

  • The GPON standards need a more detailed system architecture overview. Draft text for such an overview is provided in the "OAN Assessment and Work Plan" document.
  • Due to the many options in the GPON specifications, system-level implementation agreements are needed to serve as the foundation for interoperability work.
  • Synchronous Ethernet should be used to pass timing information over Ethernet, both to remote Ethernet-fed OLTs and from ONTs to outboard TDM inter-working functions, in cases where an Ethernet interface is the only interface available for synchronization.
  • TDM over packet is the preferred method for transporting TDM over GPON.
  • Single-family ONTs should support a 4+1 Traffic Container (T-CONT) model.
  • More detailed definitions/requirements are needed in the area of traffic management, explicit functionality required of ONTs, and support of differentiated services.
  • The goals of interoperability testing need to be clearly defined. The current effort is more focused on getting broader worldwide adoption of GPON than achieving true system-level interoperability. It is not clear to all of the participants that system-level interoperability is or should be the effort's primary goal.
  • Guidelines for defining the scope of use of the ONT Management and Configuration Interface (OMCI) are needed.
  • The ATIS Network Interface Power and Protection (NIPP) Committee should take on the role of the U.S. Standards Development Organization (SDO) where GPON-related contributions destined for ITU-T Study Group 15 Plenaries are reviewed.

    To move forward the action items noted in the "OAN Assessment and Work Plan," the ATIS NIPP Committee is forming the NIPP Network Optical Access (NOA) Subcommittee to focus on optical access interfaces and systems.

    For more information, visit ATIS
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