Typically the evolutionary path for broadband starts in the workplace and moves out to the home. Consumers moved from dial-up to high-speed because of expectations built at work. However, as evidence that sometimes the reverse is true, Motorola announced today a new solution for the enterprise – Motorola Passive Optical LAN – based on the same GPON technology used in consumer FTTH deployments. In fact, the solution uses the very same Optical Line Terminals and Optical Network Terminals that have been field-tested in consumer broadband deployments for years.
I’m still working to wrap my brain around Passive Optical LAN (POL), but here’s what I understand about how it reduces costs and simplifies the local area network. POL reduces hardware costs by eliminating the need for many costly workgroup switches. It reduces maintenance needs because there are fewer “active” components in the network (the “passive” part of PON). And it reduces installation costs because a single fiber optic cable will support four end users when attached to a Motorola ONT (no CAT5/CAT6 cable). The graphic above shows the differences between a typical LAN and a new POL architecture. Passive Optical LAN is an entirely different way to look at wiring the enterprise for IP voice, video, and data.
A few other notes from the press release: Motorola is demonstrating POL at the 2009 Interop Business and Technology Conference & Expo in Las Vegas today, and has also signed an agreement with Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) to act as a reseller of Motorola’s POL solutions in the global enterprise market. Stay tuned for more resources (fact sheets, white papers, etc.) which should be available online soon.