Hitachi thinks cable's ready for 10 gig optics

Despite the fact that cable systems cling to the hybrid fiber/coax network as the network of the present and the future, Hitachi has determined there's a market for passive optical networks and has therefore developed and made available 10 gigabit Ethernet PON network units and line cards.

"We've found very solid interest from the MSOs to consider PON technologies, specifically EPON. Depending on the MSO they have slightly different needs but the general consensus is with an Ethernet backbone they have in their systems, EPON was a natural transition," said Jeff Stribling, vice president of marketing for Hitachi Communication Technologies America during an interview with FierceCable.

The EPON system is DOCSIS-provisioned so MSOs that adopt it can reuse existing technologies in the headend and the field, Stribling said.

"It's a glorified 2 gigabit cable modem or a 10 gigabit cable modem ... because it's provisioned exactly the same way you'd provision a cable modem," he said. "The physical connectivity is PON but from a provisioning and management point of view it looks to be a cable modem."

Stribling said he expects first deployments to come from cable operators delivering fiber services directly to business customers, but that there will also be a fiber migration to greenfield customers and "high end complexes which need fiber served to them."

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