Broadband Communities

MAY-JUN 2013

BROADBAND COMMUNITIES is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises.

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SUMMIT COVERAGE Summit Technology Overview Providers of optical LANs and expanded BSS/OSS oferings see great growth potential. By Steven S. Ross / Broadband Communities I n the exhibit hall and in technical sessions of the 2013 BroadBand Communities Summit, vendors called for extending optical networks deep inside buildings to improve reliability, efciency and bandwidth. In addition, they showed a wide array of new software to exploit the expanding revenue potential of fber-to-the-home deployments. OPTICAL LAN A number of companies stepped up to ofer optical LAN (OLAN) solutions to nongovernment, nonmilitary customers this year. Te technology, pioneered for civilian markets by Motorola Mobility with inexpensive multimode as well as single-mode fber, has broadened to include EPON and GPON over single-mode fber. Compared with traditional copper switched Ethernet LANs, the attractions of OLANs are many: • OLANs use less power and require fewer active electronics that need maintenance. Whether based on GPON or on P2P EPON, optical LANs are thus simpler to install and control. • Te fber itself is thin enough to hide almost anywhere in an ofce environment. • Bandwidth potential is higher – gigabit and 10 Gbps OLAN networks are considered standard. In-building bandwidth can thus match external connections, which is vital for virtualized environments and for cloud operations. • OLANs are more secure. Downstream trafc is encrypted, and fber is far more difcult to clandestinely tap than copper cable. 68 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | • OLANs can handle the same trafc as any other passive optical network– including video, Wi-Fi hotspots and VoIP. Vendors' secret sauce is often in the software (which runs in network layer 2, typically) rather than the hardware. • Ofce complexes in multiple buildings need fber distribution anyway to cover longer communications pathways. Last winter, Sandia installed the largest OLAN ever built – to 13,000 users in 265 buildings. Budgeted at $35 million, it was built for less than half that. Te recycled copper alone was worth $80,000. Advanced Media Technologies (AMT) partnered early with Motorola Mobility to distribute its optical LAN ofering and has expanded the community of value-added resellers that ofer OLANs worldwide. Motorola's OLAN business itself was acquired by Arris this spring. Among the optical LAN providers exhibiting at the Summit was system integrator Core Telecom Systems. In addition, Scott Rye of American Networking Solutions presented a case study of his company's implementation of an optical LAN in a hospital. Equipment vendors AMT, Zhone, Tellabs, Calix and Arris were active at the Summit, all emphasizing the advantages of the technology rather than those of their particular products. Right now, they are aiming at sites with at least 50 to 100 seats, but they note that for both switched Ethernet and OLAN, bandwidth requirements are exploding because of cloud service needs and the proliferation of informational display panels, tablets and | May/June 2013

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