Cable Gets Another Hybrid Access Platform: DOCSIS Protocols Over PON

Cable TV operators notably have used the hybrid fiber coax access architecture, not "standard telco" access networks. But the industry is preparing for fiber to home, in a way compatible with the HFC approach.

That doesn't necessarily mean a wholesale switch of access technology, but in a typically hybrid manner, the ability to mix and match new fiber to customer access with the existing HFC networks.

As an example, Broadcom Corporation has announced a DOCSIS-compatible 10G Ethernet Passive Optical Network (EPON) residential gateway reference design.

Broadcom's new platform allows cable Multiple System Operators (MSOs) to provide multi-gigabit speeds over a fiber to home access network, instead of the traditional hybrid fiber coax network.

Broadcom's new 10G EPON residential gateway solution is currently available from multiple manufacturers.

The new gateway platform combines Broadcom's BCM55030, a 10G/10G EPON Optical Network Unit (ONU) system-on-a-chip (SoC), with the widely deployed BCM33843 DOCSIS 3.0 cable gateway device.

Broadcom's 10G EPON gateway adheres to the preliminary CableLabs DPoE 2.0 specification, which allows the PON gateway to look and function like a traditional DOCSIS gateway.

Built-in 10G symmetric EPON WAN technology supports multi-gigabit speeds, allowing multiple FTTH subscribers to achieve 1G symmetric performance simultaneously on a single PON.

"Our new residential gateway design enables cable MSOs to bridge a fiber network into their existing DOCSIS infrastructure without costly network re-design," said Jim McKeon, Senior Director of Product Marketing, Broadcom.
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