Broadband Forum addresses XG-PON in PON certification program

The Broadband Forum on Thursday expanded its G-PON Optical Network Unit (ONU) Certification Program to address vendor interoperability and upcoming generations of PON, including XG-PON, otherwise known as 10G PON.

On the ONU conformance testing side, the forum's BroadbandSuite 5.0, known as BBF.247, will focus on two key areas. First, they will address specific ONU profiles in addition to developing test plans related to a proposed Broadband Forum G-PON ONU/OLT test suite, which establishes Optical Line Terminal (OLT) network interoperability with ONUs that have been BBF.247 certified.

To address the emergence of the ITU's XG-PON PON standard, the G-PON test plans will be extended to XG-PON1, or G.987.1, covering both Physical Layer and upper layers of PON technology. G.987.1 addresses user network interfaces (UNIs) and service node interfaces (SNIs), along with the principal deployment configurations that are requested by network operators.

While XG-PON is still in development BT (NYSE: BT) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ) have been conducting trials with users in their respective markets.

BT conducted a 10 Gbps trial last November with Cornwall-based engineering firm Arcol UK Ltd. During that trial BT ran the 10 Gbps service alongside the company's existing 330 Mbps service on the same fiber. Earlier, Verizon held two XG-PON trials with a consumer in Southern Massachusetts and the other a business customer in Taunton, Mass leveraging equipment from Huawei and Motorola, now Google (Nasdaq: GOOG).

The forum is also in the process of developing optical layer management for PON access, requirements for Layer 2 PON architectures, and Intelligent Optical Distribution Networks projects.

Although the ODN and Fiber to the Distribution Point (FTTdp) work has just gotten underway, the forum said that the work "has the potential to speed up and simplify the installation of superfast broadband." It is working with both ITU-T and ETSI to enable the new architecture. ETSI, for its part, will address the reverse powering aspects.

There are some clear benefits that both vendors and service providers stand to gain from program. Vendors will be able to test once and use their certification globally so they can more effectively respond to service provider RFPs. Likewise, service providers will know that their vendor's equipment complies with the latest G-PON standards as they roll out these services to their subscriber base.

For more:
- see the release

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