Thanks to Video, 10G Fiber To The Home May Come Soon

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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?


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