IEEE ratifies EPON interoperability standard

June 18, 2013
EPON is the most widely deployed fiber-optic broadband access technology worldwide.

As reported by our sister site, Lightwave, the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) ratified the IEEE 1904.1 Standard for Service Interoperability in Ethernet Passive Optical Networks (SIEPON) at its recent Standards Board meeting on June 14, 2013. The new standard provides open, international, system-level specifications to enable multi-vendor, "plug-and-play" interoperability in EPON systems.

As noted by Lightwave, EPON is the most widely deployed fiber-optic broadband access technology worldwide and is particularly popular in Asia. The technology, which can support fiber to the home (FTTH), fiber to the building (FTTB), and a variety of other FTTx applications, now serves more than 100 million subscribers, according to the IEEE. These systems support a diverse suite of business and residential services, including IPTV, VoIP, commercial-grade data services, and mobile backhaul.

The SIEPON standard reflects the best practices that have been field-proven in various EPON deployments around the world, the IEEE asserts. Mechanisms for quality of service and bandwidth assignment, multicast, VLAN and tunneling modes, software download, and authentication are specified to reflect existing deployment models and seamlessly mesh with existing service architectures, according to the IEEE. Among the new additions are several advanced features, such as power-saving modes and optical fiber protection mechanisms.

More news: IEEE-SA , ETSI renew standards pact

See also: Whiite paper pits GPON vs. EPON

Sponsored by the IEEE Communications Society, the IEEE 1904.1 SIEPON standard – which covers both 1G-EPON and 10G-EPON, and describes the transport, service, and control planes – will facilitate EPON deployment for operators already familiar with this technology or who are evaluating it for future use. EPON devices can now follow a common specification for the worldwide market, thus resulting in larger volumes and reduced costs, the IEEE believes. To complete the IEEE 1904.1 standard, the international coalition of network operators, equipment suppliers, and testing laboratories that form the IEEE SIEPON Working Group went through a rigorous review and revision process based on open, market-driven standards-development principles adopted by the IEEE Standards Association.

“SIEPON is expected to have its biggest impact on network operators outside of current EPON markets,” comments Dr. Glen Kramer, chair of the IEEE 1904.1 Working Group, and technical director at Broadcom Corp. “Many operators around the world feel pressure to deploy fiber-based access networks but are discouraged by the prospect of having to develop unique system-level specifications, followed by interoperability tests. The IEEE 1904.1 SIEPON standard eliminates these challenges and lowers the barriers for EPON adoption in new markets.”

Related: CommScope launches EPON , GPON products

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