Underserved Areas of Rural Austria to Benefit from High-Speed Broadband Access
January 22, 2014
Real-life trials such as this will help WDM-PON to mature and are key in developing scalable and future-proof FTTH solutions.
ADVA Optical Networking announced today that it has launched a WDM-PON trial in Austria offering uncontended gigabit connectivity to residential subscribers. Conducted jointly with Energie AG Oberösterreich Data GmbH (Data GmbH) and ELCON Systemtechnik GmbH, the trial is designed to assess WDM-PON technology for next-generation residential broadband access. The network was deployed by Data GmbH, a subsidiary of Energie AG Oberösterreich, in the Austrian municipality of Allhaming. Using dedicated wavelength connections, the trial provides residents with symmetrical access speeds exceeding current commercial offerings by more than a factor of 10. Allhaming was chosen for the trial because of its location in an underserved rural area with poor broadband access. WDM-PON technology is especially suited to such a scenario. It enables individual subscribers to be independently connected to a remote central office that can be tens of kilometers away. Optical WDM allows subscribers to share a common trunk fiber and eliminates the need for active field equipment.
“Customers’ thirst for data is increasing dramatically. However, many regions don’t have the necessary network to respond. The key question is how do you build a network that can satisfy this demand while providing the best possible broadband experience? Especially as the network needs to be future-proof,” asked Markus Fellhofer, head of Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH), Data GmbH. “These are some of the very questions that we seek to answer with this trial. Residential WDM-PON technology is still in its infancy. Real-life trials such as this will help it to mature and are key in developing scalable and future-proof FTTH solutions. The residents of Allhaming are direct beneficiaries of this. They are already experiencing the impact high-speed broadband access can have on their daily lives.”
The trial forms part of the collaborative EU PIANO+ projects TUCAN and IMPACT that are fostering the development of ultra-broadband WDM-PON networks. Lessons learned from the trial will be used to expand optical broadband delivery to a further thirty development areas in the Upper Austria region in 2014. The technology used in the trial was collaboratively tested by ADVA Optical Networking, ELCON Systemtechnik GmbH and Data GmbH under actual network conditions. Data from the trial is continually being collated and analyzed and will help Data GmbH understand the full implications of a WDM-PON network, including capital and operating costs.
“This trial isn’t just about technology, it’s about people, it’s about communities, it’s about the digital society,” commented Jörg-Peter Elbers, vice president, Advanced Technology, ADVA Optical Networking. “Working with the residents of Allhaming, you see firsthand how important dependable access to high-speed broadband is. People of this municipality are now able to video chat with distant relatives, participate in online learning and benefit from all the other applications that depend upon broadband access. All this is possible because of our WDM-PON technology. What’s even more exciting is that this is only the first stage of the trial. In 2014, we will go even further – connecting more users and bringing additional technology developed with other collaboration partners such as Oclaro that provides the integrated tunable laser devices for the trial.”
“This trial is critical for Austria, critical in helping to close the digital divide,” said Marco Dietrich, vice president, R&D, ELCON Systemtechnik GmbH. “We are intent on helping Austria’s underserved and rural communities become a part of the digital age. What’s important to achieving this is developing affordable networks that can both meet today’s bandwidth expectations and scale for tomorrow’s. This is why we are a part of this trial. We want to showcase how WDM-PON technology can be used to deliver cost-effective broadband access that meets all expectations: the service providers’, the equipment vendors’ and, most importantly, the users’. This will be an exciting project to watch.”