Muni fiber: L1 or L2?

Owen DeLong owen at
Wed Jan 30 03:53:34 UTC 2013

On Jan 29, 2013, at 7:23 PM, Leo Bicknell <bicknell at> wrote:

> In a message written on Tue, Jan 29, 2013 at 07:11:56PM -0800, Owen DeLong wrote:
>> I believe they should be allowed to optionally provide L2 enabled services of various
>> forms.
> Could you expand on why you think this is necessary?  I know you've
> given this some thought, and I'd like to understand.
> The way I see it, for $100 in equipment (2x$50 optics) anyone can
> light 1Gbps over the fiber.  The only way the muni has significantly
> cheaper port costs than a provider with a switch and a port per
> customer is to do something like GPON which allows one port to
> service a number of customers, but obviously imposes a huge set of
> limitions (bandwiths, protocols you can run over it, etc).

But it's not $100 in equipment. It's $100 in optics + $350 in line cards +
technician time to install…

OTOH, if the muni operates L2 services and provides a pre-joined group
of subscribers as a handoff to a single GPON optical port provided by
the ISP or is allowed to provide pre-mused DWDM from a group of
subscribers to a single-fiber hand-off to the ISP or whatever, then you
increase the number and variety of competition and reduce certain
barriers to that competition. I'm not saying it always makes sense in
all situations. I'm saying that the muni should not necessarily be
precluded from doing so where it does make sense.

> I also think the "ONT" adds unnecesary cost.  They are used today
> primarily for a handoff test point, and to protect shared networks
> (like GPON) from a bad actor.  With a dedicated fiber pair per
> customer I think they are unnecessary.  I can see a future where
> the home gateway at the local big box has an SFP port (or even fixed
> 1000baseLX optics) and plugs directly into the fiber pair.

You're going to need a handoff test point of some form for any
residential service. If you think otherwise, then I would argue you
simply don't have enough experience dealing with residential
installations (from a provider perspective).

Bad actor isolation is important on GPON, but it's not nearly as
critical for point-to-point. However, you do still need the test point
at the demarc. You want active equipment of some form at the
CP that you own. You want everything past that active equipment
to be the customer's problem.

> No ONT cost, no ONT limitations, no need to power it (UPS battery
> replacement, etc).  It's a value subtract, not a value add.

It really isn't. You'd be surprised how many uncompensated truck rolls
are eliminated every day by being able to talk to the ONT from the
help desk and tell the subscriber "Well, I can manage your ONT and
it's pretty clear the problem is inside your house. Would you like to
pay us $150/hour to come out and troubleshoot it for you?"


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