reply to avenison
Re: Sudbury ON - FibreOP FTTH - job fair Thursday 6pm I can explain a little bit about the box that habskilla previously linked to.
Bell Aliant has chosen a cost effective passive fiber deployment. This means that in the field between you and the CO there are no powered devices. The only powered devices are at the central office and your home. The rest is spliced together fiber and equipment which allows fiber to be 'split' to multiple homes.
This is in contrast to VDSL deployments where remotes have to have power and much smarter equipment to do things. In the end it's more cost effective.
The box linked is where this 'splitting' occurs. Fiber from the central office comes in, fiber from homes comes in, and the two are connected. It actually looks like an ethernet patch panel inside, except with fiber.
What are the disadvantages of that topology? How many endpoints can each line out from the CO handle, and how does that affect latency?
I'm pretty interested to see what Vianet will be doing in response to this. Their 30/5 package seems pretty inline with 25/7 DSL (if it was available), but the only synchronous plan they have is 25/25, for $83/mo before taxes, etc. If B-A can do what they're doing in the Maritimes (mostly synchronous rates, no caps, reasonable prices) they will surely have to raise the stakes.
The number of houses sharing the fiber depends on the deployment, 16 or 32 being the most common (of course that is just the limit, you could have less). Latency isn't affected, fiber is f-a-s-t. My ping to the gateway at Bell Aliant is 1ms.
As for disadvantages you are sharing the bandwidth available on the fiber with other people. The control is tighter than cable though, with the amount you are allocated changing every few milliseconds. Bandwidth can also be guaranteed for phone and TV.