Verizon Tests 10-Gig

Verizon said it has successfully tested NG-PON2 FTTP technology that, it claims, could “easily provide” symmetrical speeds of 10 Gbps to business and residential customers.

The telco, which is currently offering up to 500 Mbps up and down on its residential FiOS high-speed Internet platform, said the next-gen PON tech likewise will “open the door” to a blistering 80 Gbps.

Verizon said the trial conducted with a NG-PON2 equipment system from Cisco and PT Inovação at the telco’s central in Framingham, Mass., to a FiOS customer’s home three miles away, as well as to a nearby business location.

The trial used a new optical line terminal (OLT) installed at the central office that pumped out four wavelengths that was each capable of operating at 10 Gbps down by 2.5 Gbps up. Future versions will support symmetrical 10G per color, the company said.

Verizon noted that upgrades on the FTTP network will start when commercial equipment is available to support business offerings such as switched Ethernet services. The telco plans to issue a request for proposals later this year for the hardware and software needed for a new NG-PON2 platform.

While 10-Gig “would be most attractive for business customers,” Verizon said that picture will change for consumers amid the adoption of 4K video and the expected explosion of the so-called Internet of Things, which will generate demand for higher symmetrical speeds and lower latencies.

“The advantage of our FiOS network is that it can be upgraded easily by adding electronics onto the fiber network that is already in place,” Verizon VP of network technology Lee Hicks said, in a statement, “Deploying this exciting new technology sets a new standard for the broadband industry and further validates our strategic choice of fiber-to-the-premises.”

The field trial, the telco said, validated an important service reliability feature of NG-PON2 – it simulated a fault in the central office equipment, but the ONT restored its own 10G service “in seconds” by autonomously  tuning to another wavelength.

According to Hicks, NG-PON2 will have the system capacity to grow to 40 Gbps to 80 Gbps, by adding new colors of light onto the existing fiber. Each new color beefs up the capacity by up to 10 Gbps.

The new technology could raise the stakes in the broadband game. Thanks in part to pressure being applied by Google Fiber, the high-end benchmark for residential broadband is 1 Gbps.  Comcast, meanwhile, has begun to offer 2 Gbps residential service via its targeted, FTTP-based “Gigabit Pro” product.

DOCSIS 3.1, an emerging platform for HFC networks, is aiming for capacities of 10 Gbps down and at least 1  Gbps downstream.