Friday, December 09, 2005

Amsterdam going with active Ethernet for FTTH

Its interesting to see Amsterdam go with active Ethernet for this $35 million project which will connect 40,000 homes, as opposed to EPONs. The lightreading report mentions the decision being based on a report from Riverstone Networks, a pioneer for Metro Ethernet, which states that EPONs may provide 39Mbps per user as oppossed to Ethernet's 100Mbps.

While it is an interesting debate between Metro Ethernet and EPONs, I feel that EPONs cetainly have an edge in residential access networks, primarily because of low end equipment cost and zero maintainance. Moreover the above study is surely misleading. EPONs offer 1 Gbps connectivity which may be shared between multiple users. The peak bit rate is thus 1 Gbps. The average bit rate depends on the number of users you share with. If you have 32 users connected to an EPON, the average bit rate may be close to 39 Mbps. But if there is higher demand, you can share across lesser number of users.

Overall, it is nice to see some cities getting very serious with FTTH deployment.

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