GPON and Point to Point are two different ways of delivering fibre directly into people’s homes and businesses. Point to point means that one strand of fibre is connected directly into the premises all the way from the main Exchange, or otherwise from a mini exchange in the street with active electronic equipment in it. This can connect 100 premises or so if from the mini exchange, or thousands from the main Exchange. GPON on the other hand, connects one fibre to a small street side unit, which then splits the light out to single fibres each connected directly into people’s homes – connecting up to 32 or 64 houses. As opposed to Point to Point, there are no electronics in this unit. GPON is therefore a significantly more cost effective way of delivering FTTP as it minimises the fibre and fibre-cable or electronics used, saving on infrastructure and ensuring the lowest price for consumers. It is also a much more eco-sustainable alternative. However, Point to Point does have some additional engineering flexibility and can be more suited for delivering high speed services to businesses and high density dwellings. It is likely with Australia’s NBN that a mix of GPON and Point to Point will be used, each where it makes the most economical sense.
By Alcatel-Lucent Asia-Pacific director of Innovation, Geof Heydon