FTTH Active vs Passive

Delian Delchev delian at promela.com
Wed Dec 2 12:03:45 CST 2009

Very much it depends on the case.
In price perspective Active Ethernet is cheaper (for the active equipment)
for both CAPEX and OPEX. Also it is reacher in features. Just
for comparison 2.5Gbit G-PON solution cost about the same as reasonable
10Gig FTTH active ethernet solution. If you do extremely cheap Active
Ethernet with Ethernet BRAS you can go even 5-10 times cheaper than passive,
and much more reacher on features.
The fiber for Active Ethernet actually costs the same as the fiber for
Passive Ethernet. You have the same amount of work to install it the fiber
price difference is very small if you have 48 fibers than 12 for example.
The number of splices you need to do in fiber for Active Ethernet is
slightly higher but it is absolutely and fully compensated by the price of
the PON splitter.

So if you are looking for any of the "price", "stability", "standartization"
(both G-PON and GEPON have many issues with the compatibility between the
vendors), "speed", "feature richness", Active Ethernet always win.

The best thing for Passive FTTH is written in its name. It is "Passive",
which means, you don't need to power it except in the subscriber's home. So
if you have any issues with the power (or requirements for availability,
that can not be reached cheaply because of reasons related to the power),
then passive FTTH is your choice. In any other case Active is better.


On Tue, Dec 1, 2009 at 4:57 AM, Luke Marrott <luke.marrott at gmail.com> wrote:

> I'm wondering what everyones thoughts are in regards to FTTH using Active
> Ethernet or Passive. I work for a FTTH Provider that has done Active
> Ethernet on a few networks so I'm always biased in discussions, but I don't
> know anyone with experience in PON.
> I've read before that almost all PON technology is proprietary, locking you
> into a specific hardware vendor. However I think this is changing or has
> already changed, opening PON up for interoperability. Can anyone confirm
> this?
> Thanks in advance.
> :Luke Marrott

More information about the NANOG mailing list