GPON - Gigabit Passive Optical Network

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Introduction and Market Overview: The Need for Fiber

The way people use the Internet today creates a great demand for very high bandwidth: More and more workers are telecommuting. Consumers watch multiple HDTV channels, often on several TVs in the same household at the same time. They upload and download multimedia files and use bandwidth-hungry peer-to-peer services. They play online games that demand high speeds and immediate reactivity. Web 2.0-based communities and hosted services such as social networking sites and wikis are pervasive, fostering interactivity, collaboration and data-sharing while generating a need for capacity. Bringing optical fiber to every home is the definitive response to such demands for greater bandwidth.

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Bringing Fiber to the Home: Benefits of GPON

One way of providing fiber to the home is through a Gigabit Passive Optical Network, or GPON (pronounced 'djee-pon').
GPON is a point-to-multipoint access mechanism. Its main characteristic is the use of passive splitters in the fiber distribution network, enabling one single feeding fiber from the provider's central office to serve multiple homes and small businesses.
GPON has a downstream capacity of 2.488 Gb/s and an upstream capacity of 1.244 Gbp/s that is shared among users. Encryption is used to keep each user's data secured and private from other users. Although there are other technologies that could provide fiber to the home, passive optical networks (PONs) like GPON are generally considered the strongest candidate for widespread deployments.


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