fttp+ng-pon2The Full Service Access Network (FSAN), an industry working group made up of 85 global network operators, announced an agreement for the next generation passive optical network (PON) fiber-to-the-premise (FTTP) recommendation, known as NG-PON2. The agreed upon approach will also be known as the “…time and wavelength division multiplexed (TWDM) solution with optional wavelength division multiplexed (WDM) overlay extensions.” Quite a mouthful.

The new recommended standard provides for up to 40 Gbps in total downstream capacity (which is shared by all subscribers), easily delivering applications that require 1 Gbps “or more.” The recommendation has not been made public at the time of this posting, so upstream capabilities have not yet been revealed. The recommended standard is intended to be the next iteration of the current XG-PON1 or 10GPON standard.

The FSAN recommendation now goes before the ITU-T Study Group 15 – Question 2 Access Working Group (Q2/SG15), which will ultimately define the actual standard for NG-PON2. With NG-PON2, FSAN says the recommended standard will “…support increased capacity, higher light-to-port ratios, improved interoperability, and enhanced services.”

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“FSAN made significant progress during its late June meeting in Santa Clara, Calif., when the group focused on developing draft text for the NG-PON2 Requirements and Physical Media Dependent Layer specifications,” said FSAN Chair Martin Carroll of Verizon in a press release. “If rapid progress can continue to be made, standards could be ratified as early as 2013, which will give the industry a clear path to more advanced, highly capable broadband access networks.”

Ratification by the ITU for the FSAN NG-PON2 recommendation by 2013 seems to be quite optimistic. Regardless, it will be several years, at least five or so, before standardized NG-PON2 becomes a marketplace reality. Verizon, North America’s largest FTTP provider, has already tested a pre-standard version of NG-PON2, which was labeled XG-PON2, way back in October 2010. In that trial, Verizon was able to transmit symmetrical 10 Gbps between two locations in Taunton, Mass.

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