A Re-Cap of FTTH Connect 2016
FTTH Connect was held earlier this summer in Nashville. Representing CableLabs and educating the audience about initiatives within the larger cable industry, Steve Burroughs, Curtis Knittle and I spoke at several sessions. In this short video, Steve, Curtis and I will share what we discussed and observed.
Curtis Knittle: I'm Curtis Knittle from the Wired Technologies Group here at CableLabs. I'm sitting here with Mr. Steve Burroughs (Lead Architect) and Mr. Jon Schnoor (Senior Engineer).
How do you think your activity went at FTTH Connect?
Steve Burroughs: I thought it went really well. We had a good turnout. The numbers that were projected by the the moderator actually were exceeded by about twenty-five percent. We had a lot of questions afterwards and I thought, by and large, we conveyed a lot of information and it was well-received.
Curtis: How do you think it went for you, Jon?
Jon Schnoor: It went very well. It was good to be there representing the cable industry.
Curtis, how did we get into the position this year by having so much presence? What's the history of this?
Curtis: That's a good question. It all started pretty much back in 2014. I gave a presentation and I was basically the only cable operator to do such a presentation and so that was 2014.
In 2015, we had you guys. We had two speakers there doing a panel and we realized based on the feedback from 2014 & '15 that people were clamoring for more information. So this year we proposed a cable track and even a cable keynote. This year we had a total of seven speakers talking on anything from future technologies like 100-gig EPON to provisioning. Of course, the operator keynote was really key to providing some good information for the attendees.
Jon: Guy McCormick, Vice President at Cox Communications. The cable industry was represented by an actual keynote at the show.
Curtis: What kind of things did you talk about Steve?
Steve: We had four people on our panel. And my particular area was addressing one of the needs that comes up with deploying FTTH that is not often thought of. Deploying fiber is a lot more than just trenching and managing layer two protocols and OLTs and ONUs but there's also some higher layer aspects that rely on the access network. In this case, I was speaking about provisioning. And I addressed some of the things that CableLabs is developing at this time that is moving the dependency of the provisioning methods on the access network -- which is currently DOCSIS. I'm making it more independent so I talked about a more modern mechanism that's access network-independent for provisioning the devices that are going to be attached -- whether it's via fiber or DOCSIS. And I also addressed dynamic service provisioning, which is going to take advantage of SDN as well as NFV -- ultimately replacing some of our older virtualization mechanisms.
Curtis: How about you, Jon?
Jon: I spoke about fiber parity in the cable industry. And so we're talking about phone services, internet services and video services and providing those services over fiber -- full fiber networks and fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) implementations. The idea is whatever we're doing in an HFC in a cable network, a traditional cable network, we need to be able to do the same things in an all-fiber network. I spoke about the parity between the fiber network and the HFC network and how do we get there from a fiber perspective.
Curtis: Creating the same services in the same experience.
Steve: I understand you also led a session?
Curtis: Yes, I did. I did two sessions. One session was on the 100 gigabit Ethernet Passive Optical Networking (EPON) and the standardization activities that are underway right now. And then I had another session that was the operator perspective on fiber-to-the-home.
Our motivation really was to give more exposure to fiber-to-the-premise (FTTP) whether that's home or businesses, give more exposure to the cable industry in what's actually happening because historically I think that show has been mostly telco and municipalities. We're now trying to ramp up some of the cable presence so that vendors and other operators and whoever is involved in the industry can actually start giving some thought to what the cable industry needs as well.
Cable Makes Its Mark at FTTH Connect
Over the past two years, members of the CableLabs Optical Technologies team had the privilege to speak at the Fiber-To-The Home (FTTH) Council’s yearly FTTH Connect event. FTTH Connect annually attracts many thought leaders from both the vendor and service provider communities.
One observation we made while attending FTTH Connect was the growing appetite of FTTH Connect attendees to learn more about cable industry initiatives and solutions. Not only were the presentations well attended, but in one instance the Q&A session lasted for 30 minutes past the allotted time. Presentations provided FTTH perspective in a cable network, motivation for fiber deployments to complement the HFC network, PON traffic modeling, and supporting cable’s triple play services with fiber home run implementations. This appetite for more cable knowledge was somewhat surprising but welcome.
The impetus for CableLabs’ involvement was not only to show the world that the cable industry is pushing FTTH solutions, but also to introduce the FTTH community to CableLabs as a leader of innovation and R&D solutions. CableLabs has introduced several solutions to provide a means and support strategies of operators for pushing fiber deeper into the HFC network, including FTTH. These solutions include DOCSIS Provisioning of EPON (DPoE), Triple Play over PON and the group of specifications based on the Distributed CCAP Architecture.
Based on the show in 2015, we set out to increase our contributions at the 2016 FTTH Connect event. We proposed an entire cable track to the FTTH Council and were unanimously approved. We then set out to offer cable’s story at this year’s conference. It begins with Guy McCormick, Senior Vice President at Cox Communications, who will be one of the shows keynote speakers. Cox Communications is one of the most forward-thinking cable companies in the world, and they have an aggressive strategy around FTTH deployments. Jon Schnoor will discuss how we achieve fiber parity with cable services to that of the HFC access network. Steve Burroughs will present how to move beyond technology specific provisioning and work toward an access network agnostic infrastructure through virtualization. Curtis Knittle will explore next generation PON solutions that will establish 100 Gbps EPON and include an operator’s perspective on their transition to FTTH including challenges, technology tradeoffs, operational challenges and solutions. Curtis Knittle is also hosting a panel regarding FTTH in cable, that will explore an operator’s perspective.
If you’re planning to attend FTTH Connect 2016, be sure to attend the cable industry sessions to see what is cool and interesting!