Masthead Corporate Logo
Subscribe > e-Newsletter   > Magazines  
Search  Advanced

The Lightwave Blog

Subscribe to an RSS Feed of this Blog.
<< Home

By Meghan Fuller Hanna

An interesting little item just crossed my desk from the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers' Ontario Chapter. The group today issued a call for papers for its general meeting, to be held in Hamilton on Tuesday, February 5, 2008.

While this is hardly newsworthy, here's the interesting part: The meeting's theme is fiber-to-the-home/premises, etc.

Call me crazy, but I kinda think that's BIG news.

It seems much has changed since The Wall Street Journal's oft-cited August 17, 2006, article, "Cable industry may need to spend heavily on upgrades," which touched off the will-they/won't-they debate regarding cable MSOs and FTTH technology.

The article cited a Cable Labs report that argued that the MSOs would have to spend billions to ward off the potential threat posed by Verizon's FTTP-based FiOS initiative and AT&T;'s FTTN-based Project Lightspeed. At the time, many of the largest MSOs balked at the report's findings, arguing that their current networks and the emerging DOCSIS 3.0 would be more than sufficient for their long-term needs.

But now we have the SCTE, THE professional association of the cable MSOs, publicly announcing its interest in FTTH.

According to the call, "possible topics of interest" include:

* FTTX topologies;
* FTTX technologies;
* FTTX advanced services/content to be delivered;
* FTTX cost models;
* FTTX challenges in deployment; and
* FTTX state of the industry, current and future deployments.

As someone who was only recently married after 30 (ahem) years of being single, I know first-hand there's a big difference between "interest" and commitment. For their part, the FTTH system vendors seem determined to woo the cable MSOs. (Look for my article on this subject in Lightwave's February issue.) But now it seems the MSOs have decided FTTH is, at the very least, worth getting to know a little better.

In the world of optical communications, this is definitely a Page Six-worthy development.

Blogger Scott said...
It'll be interesting to see what the speakers define as FTTH in this conference. Will they let the GPON folks have the stage or stick to more MSO-specific topics?

There has been a lot of talk of RFoG and other, similar proposals that essentially just change the physical medium from coax to glass without changing protocols or capabilities. That's a much less risky (capital-wise) investment for an MSO but might not be the best long-term strategy.
Wednesday, January 9, 2008 4:39:00 PM EST  

Blogger Geoff Daily said...
Yet another sign of fiber's dominance uber alles!

What's remarkable is that the general public and people in power seem to still not have realized that all the network operators rely on fiber to support their big bandwidth networks.

It doesn't matter if the pipe running into your home is cable, DSL, BPL, or whatever, before long you always hit fiber.

But you're right, this is big news, that the MSOs are already rethinking the viability of fiber.

I'd certainly say if this was the intent of the FTTH supplier industry, then they've succeeded swimmingly!
Thursday, January 10, 2008 9:39:00 PM EST  

Blogger AllFiber said...
RF over Glass (RFoG) solutions were promised in 2008 but Alloptic Inc has been selling this to many companies in 2007. This solution supports FTTH added to the fiber without impacting RFoG services or bandwidth, nice migration to FTTH if needed years later, for the high service demanding customer; one customer at a time.

This is fiber all the way to the home. With DOCSIS 3.0 Modems and applications and features the CATV/MSO companies can compete well against Verizon's BPON FTTH solution. GPON deployment still on hold with no real trigger for Verizon to change from BPON FTTH.

Most customer don't need 100Mpbs dedicated bandwidth at homes. But they sure could use more than they have been offered without fiber. RFoG and DOCSIS 3.0 can provide160/120Mbps shared bandwidth. RFoG can be small as 32 customers sharing this bandwidth. Can even double the bandwidth if needed.
Thursday, January 17, 2008 1:27:00 AM EST  

Blogger Scott said...
Thus the problem with RFoG to date. There is no standard, so nearly anyone can claim that they have the "first" or the "best" RFoG technology. Currently, RFoG is a marketing term that can be twisted to mean whatever a specific vendor wants it to mean.

However, as a service provider - especially a service provider without and existing RF headend - I would be very leery of any sales pitch that must be preceded by the statement "Most customer don't need 100Mpbs dedicated bandwidth at homes...."
Thursday, January 17, 2008 4:29:00 PM EST  

<< Home

The Lightwave editorial staff uses The Lightwave Blog to share their thoughts on optical communications and whatever else might be the current topic of conversation from cubicle to cubicle. Feel free to add your own opinions.

Stephen Hardy is editorial director and associate publisher of Lightwave, which makes him responsible for the editorial aspects of the Lightwave franchise. A technology journalist since 1982, he once had his job duties described as "gets paid to tick off advertisers ".

Meghan Fuller is senior editor of Lightwave. She has degrees from Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA, and the University of Delaware and is a card-carrying member of Red Sox Nation.