CableLabs, the non-profit research and development consortium that develops technology specifications for the cable MSO space, has launched an initiative to create a GPON version of its DOCSIS Provisioning of EPON specifications. The organization also has embarked on a perhaps quixotic quest to spark the creation of a single PON standard that would combine the strengths of GPON and EPON.
Presenting at a session within the conference program at this week’s FTTH Conference in Fort Lauderdale, FL, Curtis Knittle, director, optical technologies, access network technologies at CableLabs, said that Comcast had developed the basic requirement for DOCSIS Provisioning of GPON. As the name implies, the effort will create compatibility between DOCSIS, the cable operators’ preferred operating system, and GPON. Specifications for the first version of DPoG, as it’s likely to be known, could be completed in the next two or three months. It will focus on service provision to businesses and residences. A second version, that would add metro network support, is on the roadmap, but a schedule for completion has not yet been established, Knittle said.
Besides creating compatibility with DOCSIS, the most major change to current GPON specs will be the addition of the sort of OAM capabilities currently found in EPON, Knittle said. Sources at GPON technology developers on the FTTH Conference show floor indicated that this tweak likely would not prove overly difficult.
The creation of DPoG confirms that the cable MSOs’ purported preference for EPON may not be as pronounced as conventional wisdom originally suggested. However, which technology a cable operator chooses is becoming increasingly irrelevant, it appears CableLabs believes. In operation, Knittle told the session attendees, the two technologies are doing basically the same thing: transmitting Ethernet frames.
With this lack of differentiation in mind, CableLabs has launched what Knittle called the OnePON initiative. The goal, he said, is to merge the GPON and EPON standards into a single set of specifications that would combine the best of the two approaches, simplify technology development and provision, and streamline the procurement process.
Knittle says that CableLabs plans to approach the ITU-T (which created the GPON standards) and the IEEE (authors of the EPON specs) about the proposal.
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