CableLabs Stamps EPON Gear From Six Vendors

Six vendors have become the first to achieve qualification from CableLabs for Ethernet Passive Optical Network (EPON) network equipment that applies DOCSIS-style provisioning, the Louisville, Colo.-based R&D consortium announced Monday.  

According to CableLabs, CommScope, Huawei, Sumitomo Electric, and ZTE obtained qualification for DOCSIS Provisioning of EPON (DPoE) systems, while CTDI, Finisar, Huawei and Sumitomo got the stamp for optical network units (ONUs).  Vendors in both categories received qualification for the 1.0 version of the DPoE specifications.

Achieving CableLabs qualification means the equipment meets interoperability requirements, so MSOs should be able to be mix and match those products in EPON deployments.

EPON has become a go-to platform for U.S. cable operators to deliver broadband services over fiber to mid-sized and larger business customers.  DPoE enables those MSOs to bridge the auto-provisioning and backoffice management systems they use today for DOCSIS modems to the EPON world, a move that will reduce both operational costs and deployment complexities. Several cable operators, including Comcast and Time Warner Cable, are likewise deploying Ethernet-over-coax services on their DOCSIS 3.0 networks.

“It is excellent news for the cable industry to now be able to choose between so many qualified DPoE devices as the complexity and speeds of our offered services continues to increase,” said Bright House Networks SVP of senior vice president of network engineering, operations and enterprise solutions Craig Cowden, in a statement. “Having qualified devices will provide cable operators with yet another valuable tool as we continue to pursue our respective deployment objectives.”

CableLabs said more than 20 vendors were involved in the development and interoperability testing of the DPoE specifications.

“When so many equipment suppliers dedicate themselves to interoperability, it helps us increase the speed of innovation within the industry,” said Glenn Russell, vice president of business services at CableLabs, in a statement. “Their commitment to interoperability will significantly expand the options for cable operators, as well as the service options for their customers.”