Achieving last-mile broadband access with passive optical networking technology
Schwartz, Jason L.
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One of the primary challenges in today's computer networking world is providing enough bandwidth to achieve true broadband access in the local, or last-mile, access network. Over the course of the last decade or so, there has been a tremendous increase in the bandwidth of the core network in the U.S. In fact, a substantial portion of this core network, which primarily consists of fiber optic technology, is unused. This is primarily due to the lack of bandwidth in the last-mile access network. The last-mile access network of today primarily consists of technologies (e.g. digital subscriber line and cable modem access) that rely on infrastructures designed to carry voice and cable television signals. As a result, consumers are not able to enjoy true broadband services. This thesis discusses and analyzes the use of passive optical networking (PON) technology as possibly the best solution to today's last-mile bottleneck. General PON technology concepts and details concerning the two primary PON technologies, asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) PONs and Ethernet PONs, are discussed. The application of PON technology in achieving fiber to the home, using both PON-only and PON-hybrid infrastructures, is also described. Finally, the current PON business market and regulatory factors are discussed and analyzed.
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