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Calix takes a gig to the home

Calix has added gigabit Ethernet interfaces to the subscriber side of its optical network terminals, or ONTs, aiming to give telcos a bandwidth boost with which to compete against cable broadband.

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Assuming an oversubscription rate of less than 16 to 1, Calix’s new 700G ONTs allow carriers to offer 1 Gb/s peak downstream broadband speeds. The new ONTs come with only a “very minor” increase in price over Calix’s previous gigabit passive optical networking (GPON) customer premises gear, which offered a maximum of two 100 Mb/s Ethernet ports facing the customer.

Calix is comparing the 1 Gb/s peak downstream speeds of its new ONTs with the 160 Mb/s peak speed of DOCSIS 3.0, which cable companies are expected to deploy in the near future. But because cable and GPON bandwidth is shared, Calix recommends carriers focus their marketing efforts on sustained average, rather than peak, downstream speeds. The vendor claims its new ONTs deliver 80 Mb/s on average, while cable companies using DOCSIS 3.0 would average 640 kb/s. Calix based that last number on speeds specified by the 3.0 standard as well as an industry heuristic of 250 homes per cable broadband node.

“This definitely puts telcos at a significant advantage in the ongoing bandwidth wars,” said Jeff Heynen, an analyst at Infonetics Research, in a press release issued by Calix. “Telcos are able to deploy access infrastructure today that typically has more bandwidth than what cable operators plan to deploy using DOCSIS 3.0. This is also a reason many cable operators are considering PON-based [fiber-to-the-premises] access networks as a replacement for [hybrid fiber coax] technology that is fundamentally 30 years old.”

The 700G became generally available two weeks ago and has already been deployed by Bloomer Telephone, a Wisconsin telco.

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© 2014 Penton Media Inc.

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