Passive optical LANs find new voice

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Seven companies have come together to form a trade association to foster the use of passive optical networking (PON) in local area networks (LANs), reflecting growing interest in the technology.
 
The Association for Passive Optical LAN (APOLAN) was set up by Corning, IBM, SAIC, TE Connectivity, Tellabs, Zhone and 3M. The founder members are all involved in providing infrastructure, electronics, integration, distribution, and consulting services.
 
According to Dave Cunningham, president and chairman of the APOLAN: 'Participation is open to all organisations interested in leveraging Passive Optical Networking to revolutionise the way local area networks are designed, deployed, and managed. The deployments of Passive Optical LAN to date have demonstrated significant cost and performance advantages compared to traditional Ethernet designs, and the optical foundation “future-proofs” the network for any new bandwidth demand – a clear advantage over existing copper solutions.'

Experience of PON technology has already been gained in the fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) market, so PON LANs are able to take advantage of such developments while adding features that are more suited to commercial and industrial users.
 
Nav Chander, research manager, Enterprise Telecom at IDC, said: 'With data and video consumption forecast to grow between 7-10X in the next few years, the demand for highly cost-effective and high-quality voice, video, and data continues to grow in the enterprise LAN market space, making Passive Optical LAN an appealing solution to address current and future bandwidth demands. The APOLAN will provide valuable education and guidance to those considering this type of networking solution, and I expect they will serve as strong advocates for its global adoption.

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