Report: Copper path can lead to fibre dividends

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For telecom operators and service providers seeking to roll out future-proofed fibre-grade services, open standards development organisation Broadband Forum has published its latest technical report to help ensure that homes and businesses have access to faster, more reliable broadband connectivity by harnessing the copper infrastructure.

The TR-419 (Fiber Access Extension over Existing Copper Infrastructure) report shows how fibre-based access can be provided to customers by utilising existing copper infrastructure as opposed to the installation of fibre to end-users’ premises, which may not be economically or physically viable. FTTep (Fibre to the extension point) lets service providers deploy fibre-grade services by leveraging the last meters of copper to extend the fibre network without lowering quality when compared to complete FTTH (Fiber to the home) networks.

“Fibre network technology promises multi-gigabit broadband services, and investment is only set to grow as the industry looks to enhance businesses’ and end-users’ connected experience,” said Broadband Forum’s Work Area Director of the Physical Layer Transmission Work Area Herman Verbueken. “With higher costs associated with installing fibre directly to the premises, by adopting the FTTep architecture operators and providers will be able to deliver ubiquitous connectivity to all corners of customers’ homes and commercial premises.”

More economic deployments, less likely to be hampered by extensive construction work, can be realised by service providers and telecom operators by integrating complementary copper technologies such as Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) Access, ITU-T G.fast, or ITU-T G.hn-based Access and reusing existing phoneline and coaxial cables. With the ability to extend the fibre network with copper-based Point-to-Point (P2P) and Point-to-Multipoint (P2MP) infrastructure, residential and business end-users will have access to multi-gigabit services.

“The collaboration on TR-419 among industry associations, such as HomeGrid Forum, MoCA and Broadband Forum, ensures service operators stay ahead of customer demands with cost-effective deployment options and managed services,” said Dr. Leonard Dauphinee, Vice President and CTO of Broadband Products at MaxLinear. “Broadband Forum’s TR-419 work is agnostic of copper in building technologies, allowing vendors to choose the right technology for each deployment. I want to acknowledge Broadband Forum for incorporating G.fast, G.hn Access and MoCA Access 2.5 in the FTTep architecture of TR-419.”

TR-419 extends the Broadband Forum’s TR-301 which defines functionality for ITU-T G.fast Distribution Point Units. It defines requirements for defining cost-effective alternative and complementary architectures to fibre networks, simplifying rollout of symmetric and asymmetric multi-gigabit services and facilitating seamless fibre deployments. TR-419 describes a number of Use Cases (UCs) and migration options that can be considered as representative deployment scenarios for the operators choosing to implement a FTTep solution, and focuses on architectural, management and operational aspects of PON fibre access extension over different copper underlying technologies such as G.fast, G.hn Access and MoCA Access.

Separately, MoCA confirmed it is now offering PON fibre network providers and service operators a low cost fibre access extension standard using existing coaxial cabling and Fiber to the Extension Point (FTTep) architecture.

“MoCA and Broadband Forum standards solve industry challenges and provide ultra-high bandwidth for customers to work, learn, and stream,” said MaxLinear’s Dauphinee, President of MoCA. “Collaboration across both organisations by MoCA member InCoax ensured TR-419 includes the inherent advantages of MoCA Access 2.5.”

 


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