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Summary:

The growing popularity of video — online and on-demand — is making carriers rethink their network plans. Many broadband providers are currently experimenting with new 10G technologies so as to offer much more bandwidth to your home than even current fiber-to-the-home networks offer.

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Sure, a majority of the planet gets Internet access over slow-ish DSL and cable connections, but a growing minority is getting access to faster connections, thanks to fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) technologies. While these fiber connections — which range in the 20-50 megabits per second range — are plenty fast, some broadband providers are actively thinking about boosting the speeds on their networks. Why? Because of the sharp growth in demand for video-based content.

Infonetics Research recently asked carriers about their plans for FTTH and found that many of them are already experimenting with newer fiber technologies, some that would let them boost the speeds to 10 gigabits per second (gbps). These carriers are currently evaluating a variety of technologies: WDM PON, asymmetric 10G EPON, and symmetric 10G EPON

When we recently surveyed global service providers about their FTTH deployment strategies, almost half said they are evaluating 10G GPON, and a small but significant number are already evaluating WDM PON, asymmetric 10G EPON, and symmetric 10G EPON.

Late last year, we wrote about Verizon testing 10 Gbps speeds over its FiOS networks using the XG-PON technology. The current FiOS network uses GPON which delivers 2.5 Gbps downstream (and 1.2 Gbps upstream) bandwidth, which, in turn, is split into 30 homes. Verizon — which has seen a lot of traction for its FiOS TV service — knows it isn’t enough, especially as more people gravitate towards on-demand video.

Most carriers are looking to upgrade their networks, mainly because of the bandwidth needed to pump video through their network, including over-the-top or broadband video. The carriers know they need to ramp-up the bandwidth to each subscriber to handle multiple concurrent VOD streams in the home.

Related GigaOM Pro Content (sub req’d): Who Will Profit From Broadband Innovation?


  1. Most agree that faster is better when it comes to broadband. Unfortunately, coming up with technologies for increased
    bandwidth is the easy part…

    How are we going to insure that every customer that wants the fastest available speeds will be able to get them regardless of geographic location?

    How are we going to insure that sufficient “last mile” completion exists to keep prices low and customer service high? In the U.S. most broadband customers are served by a duopoly, the phone and cable companies, that don’t compete directly on broadband, but on bundles with contract lock-ins instead.

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  2. Frank A. Coluccio Sunday, August 22, 2010

    Verizon may very well some day deliver video over IP, but today it is using an analog (RF) form of video over a third wavelength. It’s interest in increasing speeds at this time, in other words, is not video, per se, but higher forms of high-speed Internet, and whatever other specialized services they have in the offing that require IP transport over the two wavelengths that are normally reserved for data. Granted, some of those specialized services in future (or even presently) may indeed be Web-based video formats, although here we may find that introducing content in the HSI element of the triple play could lead to some sticky neutrality issues, fwiw. Interesting article, in any event. Thanks.

    FAC

    ps – I would gladly stand corrected if it could be demonstrated that VZ is at the present time in fact delivering its commercial-grade video services over its FiOS network in the form of IP transport, and not using analog techniques, as I stated above.

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  3. Frank A. Coluccio Sunday, August 22, 2010

    Om,

    Verizon may very well some day deliver video over IP, but TTBOMK today VZ is still using an analog (RF) form of video over a third wavelength, which is separate from the two wavelengths used for the IP transport of High-Speed Internet. I would gladly stand corrected on this if I’m mistaken.

    FAC

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