We are at a tipping point for FTTH and Passive Optical Network (PON) technology. In this transition, understanding the shift from cable or Point-to-Point (PtP) to PON technology and the differences are crucial. PON is a shared medium, allowing multiple subscribers to use the same feeder fiber, while PtP grants the Optical Network Terminals (ONT) control and most of the features. 10G PON ONTs are expected to take over the majority of PON ONT shipments in 2024.
PON standards have been established, and the Broadband Forum TR-247 certification program paves the way for integration and interop, though it does not guarantee working interop. Beneath the surface are vendor-specific managed entities, different OLT software versions, network configurations, vendor lock-in tactics, and white-box and virtual OLTs entering the playing field. All of these issues make integration challenging to implement. In PON, interop between the Optical Line Terminal (OLT) and ONT is key.