Verizon tests superfast 10 gigabit Internet service using newest optical technology

Introduction of High-Powered Technology Will Open the Door for Ultrafast Service of Up to 80 Gigabits per Second Over Fiber Optic Platform

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. – Verizon has successfully completed a test of a new technology on its industry-leading, fiber-to-the-premises network, that in the future could easily provide businesses and consumers with upload and download Internet speeds of up to 10 gigabits per second (Gbps), and the potential to increase this speed even further.

Upgrades on the FTTP network will begin when commercial equipment is available to support business services such as switched Ethernet services. The technology upgrade can also be used to support multi-gigabit-speed Internet access services for FiOS customers as the marketplace demands such services and as the technology matures.

The technology will have the system capacity to grow to 40-80 Gbps as the market demands, according to Lee Hicks, vice president of network technology for Verizon. This is possible by simply adding new colors of light onto the existing fiber, each augmenting the capacity by up to 10 Gbps.

Field testing of the new technology, known in the industry as next-generation passive optical network, or NG-PON2, was completed recently from Verizon’s central office in Framingham, Mass., to a FiOS customer’s home 3 miles away as well as to a nearby business location. This followed extensive testing in Verizon’s laboratories in Waltham, Mass.

The trial, according to Vincent O’Byrne, Ph.D., director of access technology for Verizon, consisted of a new optical line terminal (OLT) installed in the Verizon central office, generating four wavelengths, or colors of light, each capable of operating at 10G/2.5G. Later versions are envisioned to support the same download and upload speeds of 10G/10G per color. One test transmitted the NG-PON2 signals over a fiber serving live GPON customers proving that the network can simultaneously deliver GPON and NG-PON2 on the same fiber.

The field trial also validated an important service reliability feature of NG-PON2. In this test, a fault in the central office equipment was simulated and the customer’s ONT autonomously tuned to another wavelength, restoring its own 10G service in seconds. This new feature of NG-PON2 has critical implications for improved customer reliability and performance.

Verizon will issue a request for proposals later this year for the purchase of hardware and software for the new NG-PON2 platform. Initially, higher-speed applications would be most attractive for business customers. That’s expected to change as the adoption of 4K video content and the explosion of the Internet of Things, with an estimated 25 billion Internet-connected devices expected by 2020, will create demand for higher symmetrical speeds and lower latency for consumers as well. “The advantage of our FiOS network,” Hicks said, “is that it can be upgraded easily by adding electronics onto the fiber network that is already in place. Deploying this exciting new technology sets a new standard for the broadband industry and further validates our strategic choice of fiber-to-the-premises.”

The trial was conducted with a NG-PON2 equipment system from Cisco and PT Inovação.