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(Passive Optical Network) An optical point-to-multipoint access network. There are no optical repeaters or other active devices in a PON, hence the name "passive." PONs are designed for local loop transmission rather than long distance and serve to bring fiber closer to the customer in order to obtain higher speed. PONs began in 1995 when a group of telecom providers organized the Full Service Access Network group (see FSAN).

An optical line terminal (OLT) device resides in the telco central office or cable company head end. It generates or passes on SONET and DWDM signals via fiber to an optical network unit (ONU) in the field. The ONU provides the optical to electrical (O-E) and electrical to optical (E-O) conversion between the fiber and the copper wires that reach homes and offices in a "fiber to the curb" (FTTC) or "fiber to the neighborhood" (FTTN) scenario. When the optical line goes directly into the building for "fiber to the home" (FTTH), an optical network terminal (ONT) is used to terminate the fiber. Fiber to the home is also called "fiber to the premises" (FTTP).

APON (ATM PON) was the first passive optical network and uses ATM for transport. BPON (Broadband PON) includes APON, Ethernet and video transports. GPON (Gigabit PON), which uses the SONET GPF frame, is designed to be efficient for packets as well as TDM. BPON and GPON are the ITU-T G.983 and G.984 standards respectively. EPON is the IEEE Ethernet standard for PONs.

Passive Optical Networks
PONs provide a way to bring high-speed fiber networks closer to the customer in the local loop.

BPON     GPON     EPONITU-T    ITU-T    IEEEG.983    G.984    802.3(Mbps)            (Gbps)ClassesSupported    B,C      A,B,C   PX10/PX20**

 Downstream   155    1.25 Gbps    1.25
 Speeds       622    2.5  Gbps

 Upstream     155     155 Mbps    1.25
 Speeds       622     622 Mbps
                     1.25 Gbps
                     2.5  Gbps

   Maximum Number of ONTsBased on Class and DistanceODN CLASS    7 km    10 km    20 km

   Class A       16      13       6
   Class B       40      32      15
   Class C      101      81      39

  ** PX10 & PX20 are similar to B and C
References in periodicals archive ?
The high volume manufacturing infrastructure applied to the BPON transceiver will seamlessly extend to future GPON product offerings.
Service providers need to inventory only one ONT for all common standards: Active Ethernet, BPON, and GPON.
Motorola BPON Card: This Broadband Passive Optical Network (BPON) card erases the limitations inherent in fiber-to-the-node (FTTN) access platforms.
Infonetics' report tracks BPON, EPON, and GPON equipment used in FTTH and FTTB applications.
In addition, operators who have already deployed Alcatel 7340 BPON solutions will have a migration path to higher bandwidth systems.
The battle between BPON and EPON continues, with BPON currently making up 84% of all PON subscribers in Asia in 2004.
BPON is the PON technology gorilla in North America, making up 81% of North American PON revenue in 2004, and will continue its reign through 2006, when its successor, GPON, becomes more available.
The Webinar will focus on the development of different variants of passive optical networks (APON, BPON, EPON, GPON), comparing and contrasting where PONs complement and compete with other fiber-based technologies (FTTP, FTTH, FTTB, FTTN, FTTC).
Tellabs remains number one in the North American PON market thanks to its primary supplier status for Verizon's FiOS network, but as GPON surpasses BPON, there will be multiple opportunities for rivals to encroach into Tellabs customer accounts.
PON is in the first real year of deployment, but is already growing rapidly in Asia, especially Japan, where tens of thousands of subscribers are using BPON and EPON.
Specific components covered include VDSL-1, VDSL-2, APON & BPON, EPON, GPON (transmission); and MPEG-2, Windows Media 9/VC-1 and MPEG-4/H.
GPON offers twice the download capacity and four times the upload capacity of competing BPON solutions, bolstering its appeal for fiber based video deployments.