PON standards collaboration target of proposed industry forum

Participants at a recent PON industry development workshop in Beijing agreed to propose a PON industry development forum to the Broadband Forum (BBF), reports Huawei. The forum would work to encourage such standards organizations as ITU-T/FSAN, the IEEE, and the BBF to collaborate in a way that would enhance industry convergence.

Participants at a recent PON industry development workshop in Beijing agreed to propose a PON industry development forum to the Broadband Forum (BBF), reports Huawei. The forum would work to encourage such standards organizations as ITU-T/FSAN, the IEEE, and the BBF to collaborate in a way that would enhance industry convergence.

Huawei notes that PON standards development has followed two main paths, the IEEE for the EPON family and the ITU-T/FSAN for the BPON/GPON family. Other groups, such as the BBF, have been active in such issues as PON network and services management. The existence of dueling PON families hinders scale-based technology cost reductions and promotes other inefficiencies, such as operators potentially having to maintain separate networks across their footprints, the workshop participants noted.

With both the IEEE and ITU-T/FSAN working on new PON standards for applications that require capacities of greater than 10 Gbps, the time is right for the standards world to work together to remove these inefficiencies, the workshop attendees suggested. The standards organizations also should ensure they leverage where possible existing technologies developed for optical and Ethernet transport as well as data center networks, the participants added.

The participants included representatives from the BBF and Institute of Communication Standards Research (ICSR); network operators China Telecom, China Mobile, and China Unicom; and system and optical module vendors Huawei, Nokia Shanghai Bell, Accelink, FiberHome, Hisense, Source Photonics, and ZTE.

The idea of collaboration among the various PON standards bodies isn't new. For example, CableLabs proposed the OnePON initiative several years ago (see "CableLabs tackles DOCSIS over GPON, single PON standard"). However, the standards organizations appear to coming to a similar conclusion themselves. Representatives of the BBF, IEEE, ITU-T, and FSAN issued a joint statement that described various ad hoc sessions during respective recent meetings to discuss what they called "PON Convergence." The sessions resulted in agreement that PON Convergence was a good idea. However, session participants also concluded that formal collaboration among the various standards bodies was unworkable. Thus, "grass roots" efforts would be the most effective means of achieving convergence among the various standards.

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