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Future proofing the North West with Full-Fibre Technology: Moving from GPON to XGS-PON Networks

Fibre Optic Cables

Freedom Fibre is one of the North West’s leading full-fibre network providers and works closely with internet service providers to meet the UK Government’s target of rolling out full-fibre broadband to 85% of the UK by 2025.

Full-fibre is the future of broadband; however, it’s taken several years for the technology to reach where it is today. From copper broadband to GPON and now XGS-PON, the different types of fibre broadband may seem highly technical and confusing to the everyday person. However, there are significant differences between the types that are worth understanding so that you can ensure your home or business benefits from the best possible connection.

Decoding the Tech Talk: GPON vs. XGS-PON

Let’s simplify the jargon. GPON, or Gigabit passive optical network, and XGS-PON, 10-gigabit symmetric passive optical network, both deliver broadband via fibre optic cables. However, XGS-PON is superior in its ability to provide a symmetrical service and by offering download and upload speeds of up to 10GB/s.

That’s Nice, but What's a Passive Optical Network?

OK, fair question. A passive optical network (PON) is a fibre optic communications technology that uses passive components such as splitters to deliver high speed internet access. In comparison, the old copper network use copper cables and typically require active electronic devices such as switches and repeaters.

Speed Symmetry: What sets XGS-PON apart?

Simply, a symmetrical broadband network ensures equal upload and download speeds. Imagine being able to upload documents to the cloud at the same lightning-fast speed as downloading a movie – that’s the beauty of XGS-PON.

XGS-PON vs. the Old Copper Networks: The Ultimate Upgrade

Switching from your old copper broadband to an XGS-PON network is like upgrading from  bread and butter to a five-star feast!

XGS-PON networks use fibre optic cables for point-to-point broadband transmission, providing gigabit-capable broadband from the cabinet to the home. This means that when compared to the old copper network, XGS-PON differs in a few key ways. Click through the carousel to learn how;

How do you upgrade a network to XGS-PON?

GPON networks are a great step up from the old copper networks that some parts of the UK have in place, however, GPON is now considered outdated technology. Upgrading existing GPON networks to XGS-PON often involves hardware upgrades – specifically replacing optical network terminals (ONTs) at a home or business so that the system can handle the higher bandwidths.

What are the benefits of upgrading to XGS-PON?

In addition to increased speed and greater reliability, upgrading to an XGS-PON network will ensure that your home or business is futureproofed as the UK becomes more dependent on more bandwidth. By building an XGS-PON network, Freedom Fibre will not have to upgrade the optical distribution network (ODN)* when further upgrades become available. Meaning that broadband speeds of 25GB/s, 50GB/s, and even 100GB/s are easily accessible to everyone on the network.

XGS-PON networks also allow different services to be provided over broadband, including Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) phone lines, and video/streaming. 

*Help, what’s an ODN?

We saw you scratching your head at this term in the last paragraph, don’t worry! The optical distribution network (ODN) is the physical path for the optical transmission of the network. In other words, it’s like a railway for optical signals, connecting the main station to the end user. Like a railway, an ODN is made up of various segments and equipment such as feeder fibre, distribution fibre, connectors and splitters, and ensures that the optical signals travel back and forth smoothly and without disruption.

Want more information about why Freedom Fibre is working to upgrade the North West onto XGS-PON technology? Read more here


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