Verizon Wireless have successfully tested a new fiber optic technology catchily called NG-PON2, which is short for Next Generation Passive Optical Network. NG-PON2 has the potential to deliver upload and download Internet data speeds of up to 10 Gbps in its first iteration, with the potential for higher performance networking to follow of transfer speeds at an (estimated) speed of 40 to 80 Gbps simply by adding new colors to the existing fiber. Each color has a capacity of 10 Gbps. The technology is ready to be released as soon as commercial network equipment is available. The recently completed test was from Verizon Wireless’ central office in Framlington to both a FiOS customer’s home some three miles away and a nearby business location – and followed what Verizon are calling “extensive testing” in their Waltham laboratories.
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Verizon’s Director of Access Technology, Vincent O’Byrne Ph.D., explained that the technology is based on a new optical line terminal (OLT), which has been installed into Verizon’s headquarters and generates four wavelengths (colors), which are currently capable of operating at 10 Gbps download, 2.5 Gbps upload. Verizon expect the technology to quickly mature to 10G / 10G transfer speeds. One of the tests consisted of transmitting NG-PON2 over the same fiber as a GPON signal, proving that the network can simultaneously work with GPON (the older generation Passive Optical Network technology) and NG-PON2. Verizon’s testing process also checked one of the self-repairing features of NG-PON2 whereby a fault was simulated in the central office equipment and the customer’s ONT (Optical Network Terminal) automatically reconfigured itself to another wavelength, restoring the high speed connection in seconds. The ability to reconfigure itself on the fly should improve reliability of the new fiber optic Internet connection service.
The bad news is that this technology is not ready to be commercially deployed. Verizon will be issuing requests for proposals later in the year to work with manufacturers to deploy the necessary technology. The carrier is anticipating much demand for this ultra high speed Internet connection from businesses but there is another consideration, which is that ultra high quality video streams will require much greater bandwidth together with an explosion of Internet-of-Things devices, placing more demand on our Internet connections – the industry is expecting an additional twenty five billion Internet-connected devices by 2020 and many of these devices will require a low latency Internet connection. You can check the YouTube video below that provides some additional detail about the technology.