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PON: Passive Optical Network

A passive optical network (PON) is a point-to-multipoint, fiber to the premises (FTTP) network architecture in which unpowered optical splitters are used to enable a single optical fiber to serve multiple premises. A PON consists of an Optical Line Terminal (OLT) at the Central Office (CO) and a number of Optical Network Terminals (ONTs)at customer premesis. A PON configuration reduces the amount of fiber and central office equipment required compared with point to point architectures.

Downstream signals are broadcast to each premises sharing a single fiber. Encryption is used to prevent eavesdropping.

Upstream signals are combined using a multiple access protocol, such as Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA).

See also: »Verizon Online FiOS FAQ »What is BPON or GPON?

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