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The Down and Dirty and PON’s

What exactly is a “PON” anyway? PON is an acronym (our industry is famous for them!) for “Passive Optical Network.” Still not clear? Let’s break it down in terms us “lay people” can understand. A PON is a networking system that brings optical fiber and signal all or most of the way to the end user. In a past life we might have referred to these networks as fiber-to-the-curb (FTTC), fiber-to-the-building (FTTB), or fiber-to-the-desktop (FTTD). (Ringing a bell with anyone?) A PON is made up of two parts: An Optical Line Termination (or – Yep you guessed it – an OLT) and a number of Optical Network Units (or ONU). It is not uncommon to see up to 32 ONUs connected to a single OLT. The “passive” simply describes the fact that there is no power requirement for the optical transmission once the signal is transmitting through the network. It brings high-performance broadband to the desktop at a fraction of the cost of typical copper-based Ethernet LAN configurations. It is also considered to be a “green” system because it uses less energy and consumes far less space and raw materials compared to copper cabling. You might consider it “green” for another reason . . . . the green it will add to your bottom line! When compared to traditional copper Ethernet, the total solution consumes less energy. That translates to lower deployment and operating expenses for you! With the rising use of Internet-based apps, video conferencing and wireless LANs, enterprise broadband demand is exploding. PONs deliver voice, video and data at gigabit speeds to any Ethernet end point such as user devices, access points, wireless controllers, application servers and printers. And can we talk about security for a moment? PONs aren’t just greener, less costly, and easier to install/maintain; they’re also more secure than legacy Ethernet networks! Typical Ethernet LANs emit electro-magnetic signals that can be intercepted by hackers. PONs don’t! PONs also support various security mechanisms such as AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) 128-bit encryption. Still not convinced a PON is right for you? Call and talk to a member of expert sales team – we would be thrilled to tell you more!

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