10g residential CPE

Tony Wicks tony at wicks.co.nz
Fri Dec 25 06:04:32 UTC 2020

So here in New Zealand 2/2Gbs & 4/4Gbs XGS-PON has just been rolled out in conjunction with the existing GPON rollout (Currently 79% of the country). CPE is definitely an issue and the most popular way of dealing with it is to use the Nokia XS-250WX-A ONT as the RGW as well. Permissions on the ONT are a little bit of an issue right now but this is being actively worked on and should be sorted in the coming few months. The ONT provides one 10GBASET and 4 gig ports as well as 4x4AC wifi. Realistically I have found using a multigig switch is very much the way to go (Mikrotik CRS312-4C+8XG-RM in my case) as then you can use 2.5GBASET and 5GBASET to clients. 2.5G seems to work fine on any ratty old cat5E you already have and USB3 dongles can be had for $25 or so. 10GBASET is real picky on cabling and I have found that 2.5G and 5G work much better if you are not doing a complete re-cable of the site.
Stand alone RGW's are hard to find, I'd be interested to hear if people have found anything smaller than the Mikrotik RB4011 or CCR's as well. People are using the Unify Pro's but they really don't perform at 4gig. Obviously wifi is not going to benefit much from XGSPON, but even then having that massive upload available is very nice. The biggest issue with these speeds as an ISP is trying to train the customers that the home setup that they have spent a bunch of money on is unlikely to give them pretty 4Gb/s speed tests as there are bottlenecks all over their personal devices.

Here is the result of using the Nokia ONT and the Mikrotik Switch - https://www.speedtest.net/result/c/66e1df88-7d5d-4e72-94ca-3d159d7edf53 of note, only my 10G connected Linux server does this, all the various other devices struggle to "speedtest" faster than 2-3 gig, even the high end devices.

-----Original Message-----
From: NANOG <nanog-bounces+tony=wicks.co.nz at nanog.org> On Behalf Of Brandon Martin
Sent: Friday, 25 December 2020 4:54 pm
To: nanog at nanog.org
Subject: Re: 10g residential CPE

On 12/24/20 7:13 PM, Steven Karp wrote:
> Copper 2.5 Gbps Multi-gig uplinks on Wifi 6 gateways are coming out in
> 2021 from most vendors.
> I am using XGS PON in trials and have been impressed with the speed 
> and cost.

Pretty much this.  XGS-PON seems to be "here now" and the costs on both the CO and CPE side have gotten down to where it's probably worth going straight to it (skipping GPON) in new deployments unless you think you can get away with just GPON for 5+ years.  I'm not sure if it's worth overlaying existing GPON deployments yet, but we're getting close, and offering "multi-gig" is, while still not very useful from a practical point of view for most customers, a potential marketing advantage.

I've been only recommending GPON for new, greenfield deployments in rural situations where expected speeds are low to begin with, density is low, and there may be a desire to push the optical link budget as it is a bit better than typical XGS-PON systems.  That's been the case for about a year, now.

Customer facing routers are not quite there, yet.  I think Asus has one, but I've seen mixed reviews.  And what's out now is still limited to 2.5GBASE-T and often only on the WAN port (LAN ports are still
1000BASE-T) meaning in practice customers can't get any more than gigabit speeds to a single endpoint (not that many endpoints can keep up, anyway) for that all-important speed test.

One of my router vendors has been teasing me with a "true 10Gb" router due out 1Q 2021.  I've been told to expect NBASE-T (1G, 2.5G, 5G, 10G) on both WAN and all LAN ports + 802.11ax "Wifi 6" with at least 5Gbps of real-world IPv4 throughput with NAT and essentially wire-speed IPv6 without NAT or content inspection at a realistic price point.  I'll be interested to see what they actually deliver as that would make future-looking multi-gig deployments actually meaningful.

Of course, you can replace XGS-PON with 10G-EPON if that's your preference.  I actually kinda prefer the IEEE versions, but most of my vendors concentrate on the ITU/Bellcore stuff in North America, so GPON/XGS-PON it is.
Brandon Martin

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