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Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM)

Passive Optical Networks (PONs)

Definition
This tutorial discusses the economics, operator and customer benefits, and
technological development of optical distribution networks with asynchronous
transfer mode passive optical networks (ATM PONs). ATM–PON infrastructure
is widely cited by telecommunications carriers and equipment vendors as
potentially the most effective broadband access platform for provisioning
advanced multimedia services as well as legacy services such as tier 1 (T1). Since
1995, an influential group of worldwide carriers and equipment vendors has been
developing requirement specifications for a full-service access network with ATM
PON as the core technology.

Overview
The deployment of fiber-optic technology to homes and businesses is poised to
change the way telecommunications services—primarily voice, data, and video
services—will be delivered to the twenty-first century, information-based
economy. Interest is high among business and residential consumers for
advanced, broadband services such as fast Internet access, electronic commerce,
video on demand, digital broadcasting, teleconferencing, and telemedicine,
among others. However, the lack of available bandwidth to deliver these services
effectively to the last mile of homes and businesses has stifled development of
new multimedia applications.

An optical distribution network with ATM PON as the core technology promises
benefits to end users as well as carriers and service providers. When optical
network access is achieved in scale, businesses and consumers will realize
opportunities for advanced services at relatively low costs. Because of cost
savings inherent with the ATM–PON platform, telecommunications carriers and
service providers will realize efficiencies in provisioning future applications and
upgrading bandwidth to satisfy customers' demands.

Topics
1. The Case for Fiber-Optic Access
2. How ATM PONs Work

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3. Benefits of ATM PONs
4. Technology Comparison with xDSL
5. Full-Service Access Network Initiative
6. Major Players
7. The Future of ATM PONs
Self-Test
Correct Answers
Glossary

1. The Case for Fiber-Optic Access


Fiber-optic technology, offering virtually unlimited bandwidth potential, is
widely considered to be the ultimate solution to deliver broadband access to the
last mile. Today's narrowband telecommunications networks are characterized by
low speed, service-provisioning delays, and unreliable quality of service. This
limits the ability of a consumer to enjoy the experience at home or the ability of
workers to be efficient in their jobs. The last mile is the network space between
the carrier's central office (CO) and the subscriber location. This is where
bottlenecks occur to slow the delivery of services. The subscriber's increasing
bandwidth demands are often unpredictable and challenging for
telecommunications carriers. Not only must carriers satisfy today's bandwidth
demands by leveraging the limits of existing infrastructure, they also must plan
for future subscriber needs.

A new network infrastructure that allows more bandwidth, quick provisioning of


services, and guaranteed quality of service (QoS) in a cost-effective and efficient
manner is now required. Today's access network, the portion of a public switched
network that connects CO equipment to individual subscribers, is characterized
by predominantly twisted-pair copper wiring.

Fiber-optic technology, through local access network architectures such as fiber-


to-the-home/building (FTTH/B), fiber-to-the-cabinet (FTTCab), and fiber-to-
the-curb (FTTC) offers a mechanism to enable sufficient network bandwidth for
the delivery of new services and applications. ATM–PON technology can be
included in all these architectures, as shown in Figure 1.

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Figure 1. ATM–PON Architectures

In general, the optical section of a local access network can either be a point-to-
point, ring, or passive point-to-multipoint architecture. This tutorial focuses on
the passive point-to-multipoint architecture (PON). The main component of the
PON is an optical splitter device that, depending on which direction the light is
traveling, splits the incoming light and distributes it to multiple fibers or
combines it onto one fiber.

The PON, when included in FTTH/B architecture, runs an optical fiber from a CO
to an optical splitter and on into the subscriber's home or building. The optical
splitter may be located in the CO, outside plant, or in a building.

FTTCab architecture runs an optical fiber from the CO to an optical splitter and
then on to the neighborhood cabinet, where the signal is converted to feed the
subscriber over a twisted copper pair. Typically, the neighborhood cabinet is
about 3 kft from the subscriber's home or business.

FTTC architecture runs an optical fiber from the CO to an optical splitter and
then on to a small curb-located cabinet, which is near (typically within 500 ft) to
the subscriber. It is then converted to twisted copper pair.

The PON can be common to all of these architectures. However, it is only in the
FTTH/B configurations that all active electronics are eliminated from the outside
plant. The FTTCab and FTTC architectures require active outside-plant
electronics in a neighborhood cabinet or curb. This tutorial will focus on FTTH/B
architectures.

When fiber is used in a passive point-to-multipoint (PON) fashion, the ability to


eliminate outside plant network electronics is realized, and the need for excessive
signal processing and coding is eliminated. The PON, when deployed in an
FTTH/B architecture, eliminates outside plant components and relies instead on
the system endpoints for active electronics. These endpoints are comprised of the

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CO–based optical line terminal (OLT) on one end and, on the other, the optical
network termination (ONT) at the subscriber premises. Fiber-optic networks are
simple, more reliable, and less costly to maintain than copper-based systems. As
these components are ordered in volume for potentially millions of fiber-based
access lines, the costs of deploying technologies such as FTTH, FTTB/C, and
FTT/Cab become economically viable.

One optical-fiber strand appears to have virtually limitless capacity.


Transmission speeds in the terabit-per-second range have been demonstrated.
The speeds are limited by the endpoint electronics, not by the fiber itself. For the
ATM–PON system today, speeds of 155 Mbps symmetrical and 622 Mbps/155
Mbps asymmetrical are currently being developed. As the fiber itself is not the
constraining factor, the future possibilities are endless. Furthermore, because
fiber-optic technology is not influenced by electrical interferers such as cross-talk
between copper pairs or AM band radio, it ensures high-quality
telecommunications services in the present and future. In addition, fiber does not
exhibit radio frequency (RF) emissions that can interfere with other electronics
and is regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

While copper-based transport technologies remain ubiquitous, the long-term


industry belief holds that it is inevitable that fiber will replace copper throughout
the access infrastructure. Because copper infrastructure is embedded in
communications systems, this transformation to optical transport is expected to
occur over many years. Over time, new builds ("Greenfield") will be all fiber
based, and existing builds will be rehabilitated by replacing copper with fiber or
by overlaying new fiber on the existing copper infrastructure. Electronic
equipment, as well, must be replaced with optical equipment.

2. How ATM PONs Work


Recent technological advances and economies of scale have drawn increasing
interest to optical-distribution networks with ATM PON. A functional overview of
ATM–PON architecture is presented in Figure 2.

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Figure 2. Functional Overview of ATM–PON Architecture

Figure 2 shows the ONT placed at the customer premises, which suggests
FTTH/B architecture. The carrier's demarcation point would be the subscriber
side of the ONT, typically in the form of a T1, Ethernet, integrated services digital
network (ISDN), plain old telephone service (POTS), etc.

For FTTCab and FTTC architecture, an optical network unit (ONU), rather than
an optical network termination (ONT), is used. It is placed in the outside plant
and must be temperature-hardened and properly enclosed. The final drop to the
network termination (NT) at the customer premises may be copper or fiber. The
carrier demarcation point is the subscriber side of the NT in the form of a T1,
Ethernet, ISDN, POTS, and etc.

Access to bandwidth on the PON may be obtained by several methods, including


time division multiple access (TDMA), wave division multiple access (WDMA),
code division multiple access (CDMA), and subcarrier multiple access (SCMA).
TDMA in the upstream and TDM in the downstream were chosen by the Full-
Service Access Network (FSAN) group and submitted to the International
Telecommunications Union (ITU) for standardization, based on their simplicity
and cost-effectiveness.

As shown in Figure 2, the network components supporting ATM PON consist of


OLT, ONT, and a passive optical splitter. One fiber is passively split up to 64
times between multiple ONTs that share the capacity of one fiber. Passive
splitting requires special actions for privacy and security, and a TDMA protocol is
necessary in the upstream direction. The use of the optical splitter in the PON
architecture allows users to share bandwidth, thus dividing the attendant costs.
Costs are further reduced by a decrease in the number of opto-electronic devices
needed at the OLT; one interface may be shared among many ONTs.

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The ATM–PON system uses a double-star architecture. The first star is at the
OLT, where the wide-area network interface to services is logically split and
switched to the ATM–PON interface. The second star occurs at the splitter where
information is passively split and delivered to each ONT. The OLT is typically
located in the carrier's CO. The OLT is the interface point between the access
system and service points within the carrier's network. When data content from
the network reaches the OLT, it is actively switched to the passive splitter using
TDM in the downstream. The OLT behaves like an ATM edge switch with ATM–
PON interfaces on the subscriber side and ATM–synchronous optical network
(SONET) interfaces on the network side.

The ONT will filter the incoming cells and recover only those that are addressed
to it. Each ATM cell has a 28-bit addressing field associated with it called a
virtual path identifier/virtual channel identifier (VPI/VCI). The OLT will first
send a message to the ONT to provision it to accept cells with certain VPI/VCI
values. The recovered ATM cells are then used to create the service interface
required at the subscriber side of the ONT (see Figure 2).

Because TDMA is used in the upstream direction, each ONT is synchronized in


time with every other ONT. The process by which this happens is called ranging
the ONTs. Basically, the OLT must determine how far away in distance each ONT
is so they can be assigned an optimal time slot in which to transmit without
interfering with other ONTs. The OLT will then send grant messages via the
physical layer operation, administration, and maintenance (PLOAM) cells to
provision the TDMA slots that are assigned to that ONT. The ONT will then adapt
the service interface to ATM and send it to the PON using the TDMA protocol.

Ethernet and T1s are two examples of what can be transported over the ATM–
PON. As ATM–PON is service-independent, all legacy services and future
services can be readily transported.

The basic frame format between the OLT and ONT for the symmetrical 155 Mbps
rate is shown in Figure 3.

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Figure 3. ATM–PON Frame Formats

The asymmetrical version of 622 Mbps/155 Mbps downstream/upstream is


similar but beyond the scope of this document.

As can be seen in Figure 3 the downstream payload capacity is reduced to 149.97


Mbps because of the PLOAM cells. These cells are responsible for allocating
bandwidth (via Grant cells), synchronization, error control, security, ranging, and
maintenance.

In the upstream direction the capacity is reduced to 149.19 Mbps because there
are 3 overhead bytes per ATM cell. In addition to the three overhead bytes per
cell there are PLOAM cells in the upstream direction, the rate of which is defined
by the OLT for each ONT, depending on the required functionality. The
minimum PLOAM rate in the upstream direction is one PLOAM every 100 ms.
This equates to approximately one PLOAM every 655 frames, which is negligible.
Although the maximum PLOAM rate is undefined, it is also expected to be
negligible. The 3 overhead bytes contain a minimum of 4 bits of guard time to
provide enough distance in time to prevent collisions with cells from other ONTs.
This field length is actually programmable by the OLT. The preamble field is used
to acquire bit synchronization and amplitude recovery. The Delimiter field is used
to indicate the start of an incoming cell.

Given that a single fiber is used for both the upstream and downstream paths,
two wavelengths of light are used—1550 nm for the downstream and 1310 nm for
the upstream. Although one wavelength can also be used, two provide better
optical isolation between the laser transmitters and receivers and eliminate the
need for expensive beam-splitting devices. Instead, low-cost planar light circuits
(PLCs) can be used, which enable low-cost manufacturing techniques to be

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employed, somewhat similar to the production of silicon chips. ATM cells are
directly converted to light and sent to the PON. Because of the broadcast nature
of the PON, encryption techniques are employed to prevent security breaches. In
the upstream direction, the ONT uses the TDMA protocol and again directly
converts ATM cells to light for transport over the PON (see Figure 2).

A typical ATM–PON system can furnish up to 64 customer locations on a single,


shared strand of fiber running at 155 Mbps. Most, however, will likely utilize 32
locations in the distribution and drop portion of the network in the near term. In
the future, the ATM–PON specification does allow for up to 64 locations to be
served.

3. Benefits of ATM–PONs
The ATM–PON system offers a number of benefits for carriers and end users.

Because fiber is less costly to maintain than copper based systems, carriers
benefit by being able to reduce costs and thereby increase profit margins or
simply lower prices to end users to ward off competitive threats.

ATM–PON transmission is conducted through a single strand and thereby


conserves fiber. Using a single fiber strand for up to 64 end users provides great
cost savings over the current point-to-point architecture.

ATM PON conserves optical interfaces at the OLT because a single fiber is used to
service as many as 64 end-user locations. Thus, a 64 to 1 reduction in optical
interfaces is achieved in comparison to point-to-point optical systems.

Another advantage of the ATM–PON system is the aggregation and


concentration of ATM cells in the OLT. This concentration allows the carriers to
serve many more customers than if only TDM–based techniques are used. At the
same time, QoS benefits of ATM allow the carriers to provide service-level
agreements (SLAs) and rest assured that service is guaranteed. It is estimated
that ATM–PON technology can achieve savings of 20 to 40 percent over circuit-
based access systems. ATM PON realizes these savings through the use of ATM
concentration and statistical multiplexing in addition to sharing active opto-
electronic components through the splitter elements.

Because the ONTs share the same fiber and optical splitter, the bandwidth can
also be shared. In the future, dynamic bandwidth-allocation protocols will allow
the carriers to serve more users by allocating bandwidth on an as-needed basis.
These protocols are already part of the FSAN specification as an optional
requirement. Therefore, more users can be served with a smaller number of
OLTs, leading to additional savings.

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Operational and maintenance savings will be derived from ATM PON. Because
the system is based on ATM, a single management system can completely
provision the bandwidth end to end. Also, if the service interface is a high-speed
local-area network (LAN) such as 10/100Base–T, where the carrier's ATM circuit
rather than the physical interface bit rate is the limiting factor to the bandwidth,
then bandwidth can be incrementally provisioned over time as needed, up to the
limitations of the physical interface. For example, if a small business needs only 1
Mbps capacity at first but will require 2 Mbps a year from now, then the carrier
must only provision greater ATM PVC rate, rather than having to do a truck roll
to wire more T1 lines (as is currently done).

Because the PON system will be ATM–based, it can adapt to virtually any service
desired. Telco operators, for instance, can deliver all of their legacy services, such
as T1 and T3 lines, or deliver new services, such as transparent LAN service (TLS)
over the optical network (see Figure 4). This future-proofs the architecture. New
revenue streams are derived by being able to provide transparent LAN services to
end users quickly and easily.

Figure 4. Transparent LAN over the Optical Network

The ONT is proportioned for small- to medium-sized businesses and costs little.
This low cost is achieved because there are more small businesses than large
ones. Currently, service providers serve small businesses from synchronous
optical network (SONET) ring nodes, and these are costly elements when
compared to small ATM–PON ONTs. ATM PONs will mean new business for
carriers and services providers, as they can eliminate the need to place small- and
medium-sized businesses on SONET rings that exist in most metropolitan area
networks.

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Active components of the ATM–PON system are located at the customer
premises or CO, rather than at remote outside plant terminals. Thus, costs
associated with outside plant–battery backup systems and active electronics that
must incur severe temperature variations are eliminated. Battery backup systems
can be placed indoors at the customer premises and thus last much longer
between maintenance intervals. In addition, the option of having the end user
provide the battery backup from low-cost computer UPC systems can be offered
on a per-user basis. With typical outside-plant systems (such as DLC or FTTCab)
that are shared between many users, this option is simply not available.

As ATM–PON architecture and processes mature, end users will benefit by being
able to provision their own services, whenever they are needed, through an
automated process. This process will either link the carriers' service management
system (SMS) with the customers' network management system or allow the
customer access to the SMS through a secured Web-browser interface. The CO
then updates network elements and provisions the new bandwidth.

4. Technology Comparison with xDSL


This section will compare ATM–PON systems with xDSL technologies and
describe the issues associated with each.

ATM is an ultrahigh-speed, one-size-fits-all, cell-based data transmission


protocol that may be run over many physical-layer technologies such as xDSL
modems. These are attached to twisted-pair copper wiring and transmit data at
speeds of 1.5 Mbps to 9 Mbps downstream to the subscriber and 64 Kbps to 1.5
Mbps upstream, depending on the condition and distance of the copper line.

Asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL), for instance, offers users an always-
on service, but its maximum downstream and upstream speeds are ultimately
limited by distance and the aging copper infrastructure; typically, only speeds of
1.5 Mbps over 12 kft are achieved. If the customer is not directly connected to a
CO–based digital subscriber line access multiplexer (DSLAM), then an expensive
upgrade to an existing outside-plant DLC system is usually the only solution.

Very-high-speed DSL (VDSL) extends ADSL downstream speed to a potential 52


Mbps, with a proportionately lower upstream speed, but offers a shorter distance
range (1 kft to 3 kft) than ADSL. However, this too requires expensive outside
plant electronics installed in a cabinet that must survive severe temperature
variations.

In addition to the distance problem, xDSL technology has inherent interference


problems, a liability with copper-based technology. ATM PONs cannot be
interfered with by AM band radio and other radio frequency interference
(RFI)/electromagnetic interference (EMI) sources. XDSL is largely considered to
be a short-term broadband solution; since it can be easily installed without an
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expensive outside-plant infrastructure build, the existing copper plant can be
used. The PON system, however, is believed to offer an ultimate, end-to-end
broadband platform that is future-proofed.

5. Full-Service Access Network Initiative


Overseeing the development of passive optical networks as part of fiber-optic
backbones is the Full-Service Access Network (FSAN) Initiative. FSAN is a group
of 20 telecommunications companies working collaboratively with equipment
suppliers to agree on a common broadband access system for provisioning both
broadband and narrowband services.

Since June 1995, the FSAN group has been working on the international initiative
and recognizing that each member has differing needs, depending on regulatory,
business, and structural environment in each country. FSAN is not a standards
body, but rather submits specifications to standard bodies such as the
International Telecommunications Union (ITU). Existing standards are
incorporated where applicable. In October of 1998, the ITU adopted the G.983.1
broadband optical access system based on PON.

Members of the initiative throughout the process have intended to introduce


elements of their results to appropriate standards bodies. On June 22, 1999, four
FSAN members—NTT, British Telecom, BellSouth, and France Telecom—issued
a common technical specification for ATM subscriber systems. Because each
initiative member understood the need to develop future access networks, the
group realized that industry-wide benefits could be achieved through adopting a
common set of specifications. The consortium determined that the per-line cost
of producing a full-service access network will decrease slowly with the
production volume.

The group concluded that as volume increases, the development of new


technologies will enable significant reductions in per-line equipment and
installation costs. Fiber-based broadband networks could be cost-effective to
deploy if their component part were built in bulk quantities for tens of millions of
access lines, rather than according to today's typical 300,000-line system order.

The group's work has occurred in two phases. First, its task was to identify
technical and economic barriers to the introduction of a broadband access
network. It was determined that an ATM PON was the most promising
technology to achieve large-scale, FSAN work deployment that could meet the
evolving service needs of network users. The consortium felt that ATM PON was
the best means of supporting a range of architectures such as FTTH, FTTB/C,
and FTTH/CAB. Members have recognized that all operators require the same
elements in their access network. The major differences come from the
positioning of the optical network unit (ONT). All members see the need for a

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PON system. Second, the group's work was to devise a common set of
specifications for full-service access networks. Six working teams—systems
engineering/architecture; optical access networks; home network/network
termination; operation, administration, and maintenance (OAM&P); VDSL; and
component technology—undertook the development process.

6. Major Players
Japan's Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT) is recognized as a
leading telecommunications carrier in the creation of high-speed optical-network
access systems. Its leadership is demonstrated by its involvement in the FSAN
Initiative as well as by its own cutting-edge research and development and
collaboration with other carriers. NTT already has deployed narrowband and
video-distribution FTTH and broadband ATM–PON systems. In 1999, it will
introduce a fully FSAN–compliant, FTTB/C ATM–PON system.

According to a press release issued by NTT and BellSouth in June 1998, the two
companies announced that they would work together. NTT and BellSouth
announced they would deliver a high-speed optical-network access platform,
pooling their respective research and development resources to advance the
availability of affordable FTTH technology. In June 1999, BellSouth unveiled
plans to install a FTTH system to the Atlanta area using FSAN–compliant ATM–
PON technology.

In the news release about the Atlanta installation, BellSouth announced that
suburban Atlanta residents will be the first in North America to experience the
nearly unlimited speed and bandwidth of passive optical networking delivered
directly to their homes. BellSouth's vision for FTTH is for customers to buy
communications appliances for voice, video, data or imaging applications at retail
stores and plug them into their home optical telecommunications network. The
BellSouth fiber network, by talking to the appliance, would deliver the necessary
provisioning. Both BellSouth and NTT believe that customer orientation and
demand will drive down the cost of FTTH equipment and accelerate its
worldwide availability. Historically, both BellSouth and NTT have pioneered
fiber-optic technology. In the late 1980s, BellSouth launched an FTTH trial near
Orlando, Florida. Historically, NTT has actively promoted FTTH, particularly in
the area of interface specifications for high-speed optical access systems. NTT's
FTTB/C project, to be launched in 1999, will replace copper cable with fiber
throughout most of NTT's subscriber system.

7. The Future of ATM PONs


As a future-proof technology, ATM PON will serve as a framework for
applications yet to be developed or advanced. While commercial deployments of

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ATM PON—with the exception of examples in limited areas in Japan by NTT—
have yet to occur, trials have been increased in 1999 and are expected to
accelerate in 2000. Perhaps the biggest advantage for ATM PON is that interest
in the technology exists on a global scale, a situation that may be attributed in
great part to the collaboration of the FSAN Initiative. Carriers and equipment
makers believe that extensive collaboration on ATM–PON physical-layer
interoperability will lead to an increase in the production volume of silicon
chipsets that can be created to the global specification. Interoperability among
the technology's management layers will depend on alliances among strategic
vendors. Settling on the core framework, however, is what will propel the
technology forward.

Carriers and service providers are expected to focus initially on business uses
through FTTB, as real revenue streams typically originate in these areas. As
production accelerates, operators will increasingly look to the mass residential
market. Through the Internet age, small- and medium-sized businesses have
been characterized as being on the down slope of technology. However, ATM
PON, with its cost savings and flexibility, is capable of bringing more of these
businesses on-line quickly.

Future applications aimed at FTTH scenarios include asymmetric broadband


services (such as digital broadcast, video on demand, distance learning, and fast
Internet), symmetric broadband services (such as telecommunications services
and teleconferencing opportunities), and narrowband telephone services (such as
the public switched telephone network [PSTN] and integrated services digital
network [ISDN]).

Self-Test
1. The access network, which is the portion of a public switched network that
connects access nodes to individual subscribers, is predominantly
characterized today by which of the following?

a. fiber-optic cable

b. hybrid-fiber coaxial cable

c. twisted-pair copper wiring

d. electrical wiring

2. Fiber to the home (FTTH), fiber to the building/curb (FTTB/C), and fiber to
the cabinet (FTTCab) are examples of which of the following?

a. local access network architectures

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b. digital loop carriers

c. transport protocols

d. fiber-optic components

3. A single optical-fiber strand's capacity lies in what range, according to recent


demonstrations?

a. Mbps

b. kbps

c. virtually limitless

d. Gbps

4. Asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) is ____________.

a. a cell-based data transmission protocol

b. an opto-electronic component

c. a circuit-switched access systems

5. ATM PON is attractive to telecommunications carriers because it contains


__________.

a. active electronics

b. no active electronics in outside plant

c. SONET rings

d. copper-based wiring

6. A typical ATM PON system can furnish up to _____________.

a. 64 customer locations on a single, shared strand of fiber

b. 72 customer locations on a single, shared strand of fiber

c. 96 customer locations on a single, shared strand of fiber

d. 128 customer locations on a single, shared strand of fiber

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7. The use of the splitter in the PON architecture allows network users to
___________.

a. share bandwidth

b. provision bandwidth

c. increase bandwidth

d. ensure privacy and security

8. The optical line termination (OLT) in the ATM PON system is typically
located _____________.

a. at the customer premises

b. in a curbside cabinet

c. in a residential gateway device

d. in the carrier's CO or POP

9. It is estimated that an ATM–PON system can achieve savings of


___________.

a. 20 percent to 40 percent over circuit-based access systems

b. 40 percent to 60 percent over circuit-based access systems

c. 60 percent to 80 percent over circuit-based access systems

d. 80 percent to 100 percent over circuit-based access systems

10. Full-service access network (FSAN) is ____________.

a. a standards body that regulates broadband networks

b. an access network for delivering broadband services

c. a group of 20 global telecommunications equipment manufacturers


collaborating on specification requirements for broadband access
systems

d. a group of 20 global telecommunications carriers collaborating on


specification requirements for broadband access systems

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11. The main advantages afforded to the carriers of ATM PON are
_________________.

a. cost savings due to lower maintenance costs than copper

b. cost savings due to use of single fiber for up to 64 users

c. cost savings due to easy bandwidth upgrading with no truck rolls

d. cost savings due to aggregation and concentration in the OLT

e. all of the above

Correct Answers
1. The access network, which is the portion of a public switched network that
connects access nodes to individual subscribers, is predominantly
characterized today by which of the following?

a. fiber-optic cable

b. hybrid-fiber coaxial cable

c. twisted-pair copper wiring

d. electrical wiring

See Topic 1.

2. Fiber to the home (FTTH), fiber to the building/curb (FTTB/C), and fiber to
the cabinet (FTTCab) are examples of which of the following?

a. local access network architectures

b. digital loop carriers

c. transport protocols

d. fiber-optic components

See Topic 1.

3. A single optical-fiber strand's capacity lies in what range, according to recent


demonstrations?

a. Mbps

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b. kbps

c. virtually limitless

d. Gbps

See Topic 1.

4. Asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) is ____________.

a. a cell-based data transmission protocol

b. an opto-electronic component

c. a circuit-switched access systems

See Topic 2.

5. ATM PON is attractive to telecommunications carriers because it contains


__________.

a. active electronics

b. no active electronics in outside plant

c. SONET rings

d. copper-based wiring

See Topic 2.

6. A typical ATM PON system can furnish up to _____________.

a. 64 customer locations on a single, shared strand of fiber

b. 72 customer locations on a single, shared strand of fiber

c. 96 customer locations on a single, shared strand of fiber

d. 128 customer locations on a single, shared strand of fiber

See Topic 2.

7. The use of the splitter in the PON architecture allows network users to
___________.

a. share bandwidth

b. provision bandwidth
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c. increase bandwidth

d. ensure privacy and security

See Topic 2.

8. The optical line termination (OLT) in the ATM PON system is typically
located _____________.

a. at the customer premises

b. in a curbside cabinet

c. in a residential gateway device

d. in the carrier's CO or POP

See Topic 2.

9. It is estimated that an ATM–PON system can achieve savings of


___________.

a. 20 percent to 40 percent over circuit-based access systems

b. 40 percent to 60 percent over circuit-based access systems

c. 60 percent to 80 percent over circuit-based access systems

d. 80 percent to 100 percent over circuit-based access systems

See Topic 3.

10. Full-service access network (FSAN) is ____________.

a. a standards body that regulates broadband networks

b. an access network for delivering broadband services

c. a group of 20 global telecommunications equipment manufacturers


collaborating on specification requirements for broadband access
systems

d. a group of 20 global telecommunications carriers


collaborating on specification requirements for broadband
access systems

See Topic 4.

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11. The main advantages afforded to the carriers of ATM PON are
_________________.

a. cost savings due to lower maintenance costs than copper

b. cost savings due to use of single fiber for up to 64 users

c. cost savings due to easy bandwidth upgrading with no truck rolls

d. cost savings due to aggregation and concentration in the OLT

e. all of the above

See Topic 3.

Glossary
ADSL
asymmetric digital subscriber line

ATM
asynchronous transfer mode

CDMA
code division multiple access

CO
central office

DLC
digital loop carrier

DSL
digital subscriber line

FTTB/C
fiber-to-the-business/curb

FTTCab
fiber-to-the-cabinet

FTTH
fiber-to-the-home

FSAN
full-service access network

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HDSL
high bit-rate digital subscriber line

ISDN
integrated services digital network

LAN
local-area network

NT
network termination

OAM&P
operation, administration, and management protocol

OLT
optical line terminal

ONT
optical network termination/terminator

ONU
optical network unit

PLC
planar light circuit

PON
passive optical network

POP
point of presence

POTS
plain old telephone service

QoS
quality of service

SDMA
subcarrier division multiple access

SLA
service-level agreement

SMS
service management system

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SONET
synchronous optical network

TDMA
time division multiple access

VDSL
very high speed digital subscriber line

WDMA
wave division multiple access

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