An Intriguing Networking Choice: Passive Optical LAN (POL)

S. Schuchart

Summary Bullets:

• With growing bandwidth needs due to things like Wi-Fi 6 and video, options like POL can provide long-term investment protection benefits

• POL can reduce operating expenses, both administratively and from a power/cooling standpoint

The networking journey is always one of change, yet there are some technologies that we’ve used for literally decades that are not up to the challenges of growing bandwidth and device density. Indeed, new services such as Wi-Fi 6 are driving the need for more bandwidth, especially on the backhaul. Copper Ethernet cables are a great example of where a great technology is beginning to run into the harsh limits of physics. To achieve even 10 Gigabit speeds excessive care has to be taken with thick, less flexible cables and distance limits of 100 meters for properly installed cabling systems (Cat6a or Cat7). With bandwidth rising to 40Gbps and 100Gbps and beyond, it becomes a matter of much discussion on how we support networks going forward, especially in new construction. Nobody wants the expense of upgrading a building’s network cabling because bandwidth needs have exceeded its limited capacity.

Continue reading “An Intriguing Networking Choice: Passive Optical LAN (POL)”