Can your network handle a HD Zoom call?

Broadband Forum’s Broadband Quality Experience Delivered (Broadband QED) is an initiative that looks beyond conventional measurements to improve overall broadband experience and improve management of network latency, consistency, predictability and reliability. It’s helping to give users what they want; seamless broadband connectivity, so that their applications can work optimally. The initiative is gathering momentum and is providing operators with the tools they need to meet current user requirements.
The QED framework allows us to confidently make precision statements about application outcomes caused by a network. For example, we can make easily understandable declarations such as: “This network will not cause Google Stadia to fail” or, “This network will cause Google Stadia to have insufficient response time for First-Person Shooters and poor animation fluidity.” “This network is sufficient for Zoom at 720p”. Statements like these are no doubt clearer for the average end-user (or perhaps even an ISP executive) than the alternative, which might sound like something along the lines of: “This network has 832 Mbps, 90ms round-trip latency, 93ms jitter, 0.001% packet loss.”
To counter these time-related issues, the QED Framework looks at distributions of latency, which lets us determine the likelihood of any particular latency value at this moment of time. As an example usecase, we could say that “there is an 0.001% chance that the latency will be over 200ms”. The reason we can make the translation from complex networks to statements about complex application requirements is the QED’s concept of Quantitative Timeliness Agreements (QTA). This can, in turn, let us understand whether a network is, for example, good enough for an HD Zoom call.
There can also be multiple quality levels for the application, for example a VoD 720p, 1080p, or 4K, or Zoom with or without video. Again, we can use multiple (even hundreds or thousands of) QTAs. Although we don’t have perfect QTAs yet, it is achievable. The behavior of the application is deterministic and governed by the rules set by the application developers. QTAs have a viable path for perfection and lets us start simple and expand without starting from scratch.

Passive markets get aggressive as XGS-PON surges

Officially adopted by the ITU-T as the G.9807 standard, Next Generation Symmetric-Passive Optical Network (XGS-PON) is rapidly becoming the optical broadband technology du jour for different operators around the world. It’s currently being deployed in roles as diverse as FTTH/FTTP, high-speed residential and business services, mobile anyhaul, triple play, video streaming and HDTV, smart cities and the IoT, and rural telecommunications provision.
Standardization is one thing. Conformance certification is another, and is viewed by experts such as Craig Thomas, the Broadband Forum’s VP of Strategic Marketing and Business Development, as essential to mass market, commercial deployment of new technology. In 2011, the Broadband Forum initiated the BBF.247 G-PON Certification Program to verify the conformance of G-PON products and their adherence to the ITU-T G-PON standard and to Broadband Forum specifications. In mid-2020 the Forum announced that it had expanded the BBF.247 ONU Certification Program to include XGS-PON.
“The Certification Program addresses a variety of ONUs and once certified, vendors can deploy their ONU products with greater interoperability to existing OLT equipment already deployed,” states Thomas. “Attaining XGS-PON market readiness with the BBF.247 certification ensures that vendors’ products are trusted and proven, and therefore operators and equipment manufacturers have the confidence that the products will provide their end-users with the seamless service they require.”
To view the full article on pages 8-10 in the spring edition of Optical Connections Magazine, click here.

OpenVault study shows impact of pandemic on upstream broadband usage and network capacity

According to a new OVBI Special Report issued by OpenVault, Upstream usage grew 63% – from 19 GB to 31 GB – between December 2019 and December 2020, far outpacing the 18% rate of increase for the upstream in each of the two prior years.

The report also details how average upstream traffic during the 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. timeframe grew from 5.25 GB to 10.42 GB per subscriber per month as of December 2020, a 98.5% increase, while per-subscriber monthly downstream consumption during the same period increased just 51.74%, from 91.90GB to 139.45GB.

Remote work, education, entertainment, and personal communication put significant pressure on operators’ significantly limited upstream capacity beginning in March 2020.

“Pandemic lockdowns changed the nature of upstream usage – in all likelihood, forever,” the report notes. “Continued high levels of remote work and a new embrace of videoconferencing for communication needs mean that consumption will pressure the limited upstream capacity of many broadband infrastructures. Moreover, the unique role of the upstream as an enabler of two-way communication makes unfettered performance essential.”

The full whitepaper can be downloaded here

Dutch FTTH competition pushes adds 500,000 homes in 2020

Intense competition in the Dutch fibre-to-the-home market has pushed the number of new connections to 533,000 in 2020.

Telecompaper’s annual report on broadband coverage in the Netherlands shows that following a year of record additions 3.68 million households had an FTTH connection, about 46% of all homes in the country.

It’s anticipated that competition between KPN NetwerkNL and its rivals Delta Fiber Network, E-Fiber, and Primevest/T-Mobile will continue to benefit the consumer. Already in 2021, the major players purchased a total of over 50,000 FTTH lines from smaller parties.

KPN NetwerkNL is the largest fibre company by far with a market share of more than 75%. The company has managed to expand its total by 319,000 homes passed in 2020 and is looking to add half a million more over the next few years.

However, despite added actual numbers, KPN’s market share fell as Number two Delta Fiber Network (14%), number three E-Fiber (3%), and number four Primevest/T-Mobile (2%) all managed to expand their market share in 2020

The full TR-419 report can be viewed here

Mentor Spotlight: This ‘doctor’ researches a cure for GPON vendor interoperability

In this Women in Comms Mentor Spotlight, GPONDoctor‘s Maria Alejandro Aranzamendi shares her approach to the dilemma of vendor interoperability, how she’s improved automating test procedures for her customers, and her professional advice for other women in technical positions
You can read the full article by Kelsey Kusterer Ziser, Senior Editor, Light Reading here

Broadband Forum points to harnessing copper for fiber benefits

Broadband Forum’s latest technical report has highlighted how fiber-based access could be provided using existing copper infrastructure instead of installing fiber to end-users premises.
This could help ensure that homes and businesses have access to faster, more reliable broadband connectivity by harnessing the copper infrastructure.
The Fiber Access Extension over Existing Copper Infrastructure (TR-419) report shows how this method could be used where FTTP may not be economically or physically viable. Instead, FTTep lets service providers deploy fiber-grade services by leveraging the last meters of copper to extend the fiber network without lowering quality when compared to complete FTTH networks.
The TR-419 report extends the Forum’s previous TR-301 which defines functionality for ITU-T distribution point units. It describes a number of use cases and migration options that can be considered as representative deployment scenarios for the operators choosing to implement an FTTep solution and focuses on architectural, management, and operational aspects of PON fiber access extension over different copper underlying technologies such as, Access, and MoCA Access.
The full TR-419 report can be viewed here

The number of US broadband users soared in 2020

US broadband providers will turn in another solid quarter in Q4 2020, but the gains won’t be high enough to match up with the blowout subscriber numbers seen in the third quarter of the year, the analysts at ISI Evercore predicted in a preview ahead of quarterly results.

US service providers are expected to add another 1.1 million broadband subscribers in Q4 2020. While those expected broadband adds will handily beat the 780,000 adds from Q4 2019, they’ll mark a slowdown from the 1.5 million broadband sub adds posted in Q3 2020 as the pandemic-fueled surge tapers off, the analysts noted.

Click here for a larger version of this image.

Click here for a larger version of this image.

Evercore ISI also expects cable to capture the lion’s share of broadband sub growth, with net adds of 1.01 million, or a share of about 95% of all net additions. Telcos are expected to add 24,000 broadband subs in Q4, improving on a loss of 244,000 subs a year earlier.

US satellite broadband service providers will pull in about 35,000 new subs in Q4 (-1,000 for ViaSat and +36,000 for HughesNet), the analysts predicted.

With everything rolled up, US service providers will add 1.07 million subs, versus a gain of 777,000 in the year-ago period. US cable operators are expected to end the period with 72.7 million broadband subs, compared to the telcos (26.4 million) and satellite (1.9 million). Overall US broadband penetration is slated to climb to 84.2%, up from 81.1% in the year-ago period.

ISI Evercore’s preview arrives as several US service providers, including AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, and Charter Communications, prepare to announce Q4 2020 results throughout the week.

For more detail on ISI Evercore’s quarterly preview, including its expected pay-TV tally for Q4 2020, please see this story at Light Reading: Broadband gains more ground in Q4 as pay-TV takes another hit.

see full article at

How accurate speed tests can lead to a brighter ecosystem

Service providers face competitive and regulatory pressures to guarantee a high-quality, high-bandwidth broadband service for their end-users. However, existing methods of capacity measurement are often difficult to employ. Not only this, but accuracy has always been a problem with testing any kind of internet connection. For example, traditional web-based speed tests can easily be impacted by issues such as slow Wi-Fi and local network congestion from background updates or other users consuming bandwidth at the same time as the test being run.
Broadband Forum has recently released a new User Datagram Protocol Speed Test (OB-UDPST) project to help mitigate these challenges mentioned. User experience is at the core of any service provider’s offering, and today’s consumers expect their broadband service to deliver speed and low latency. With the help of the Forum and its new broadband speed test, it will enable more accurate results for a vastly improved broadband user experience.
The Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), which current ad-hoc speed tests are based on, was for a long time considered the only option as a reliable transport protocol. However, TCP reacts conservatively to loss and round-trip delay, and therefore produces a significant underestimate of Maximum IP-Layer Capacity. Read the full blog from Al Morton and Len Ciavattone, OB-UDPST Project Leaders

State of Fibre: new Market Forecasts 2020-2026 revealed

  • New forecasts anticipate 202 million homes passed with FTTH/B by 2026 for EU27+1 compared to 88.1 million in 2019
  • FTTH/B take-up rate is expected to reach 73,3% in 2026 compared to 43,3% in 2019
  • Germany, UK, and Italy are likely to experience the biggest growth rates for homes passed by 2026
  • A new digital divide for teleworking performance appeared

    3 December 2020. Today at the FTTH virtual Conference 2020, the latest figures of the FTTH Forecasts for 2020 and 2026 prepared by IDATE with the FTTH Council Europe’s Market Intelligence Committee were released alongside a flash update of the 2020 FTTH Market Panorama. These numbers were reviewed after the COVID-19 initial wave during 2020.

    These market forecasts cover 39 countries1 and provide an individual analysis for 15 countries2. Estimates plan for a massive surge to around 202 million homes passed for FTTH/B in 2026 in EU27+UK compared to 26,2 million in 2012. Some countries are expected to experience an outstanding growth in the number of homes passed in 2026 compared to 2019 such as Germany (+730%), the United Kingdom (+548%), and Italy (+218%).
    Looking at the ranking of countries, while Russia is likely to continue leading the charge in terms of FTTH/B homes passed, it is anticipated that Germany would join the second spot in the ranking in 2026.

    According to the forecasts, the number of subscribers would increase further to around 148 million in 2026 for EU27+UK and approximately 208 million for EU38+UK, and the FTTH/B take-up rate3 would reach 73,3% in 2026 showing a clear upward trend compared to a recorded 23,4% in 2012.

    Covid-19 can partially explain this massive growth as it led to more data traffic and new broadband demands with people staying at home, which in turn increased the demand for fibre. But it is to be considered as an accelerator that amplified pre-existing trends.
    However other factors also affect positively FTTH adoption such as:

  • copper switch-off plans;
  • an increase in FTTH network sharing agreements and more appetite for single-build


  • strong commitments of government and local authorities to FTTH;
  • 5G deployment announcements which entail more fibre deployments.

    Finally while FTTH/B deployments are intensifying across Europe it is worth noting that a new digital divide for teleworking performance was revealed by the Covid-19 crisis. Beyond its impact on public policies, it is now clear that Covid-19 has changed public perception of the importance of broadband

    1 Andorra, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Macedonia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and United Kingdom

    2 Belarus, France, Germany, Italy, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, UK 3 Take-up rate=Subscribers/Homes Passed

Press release

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and their willingness to accept premium for fibre. This new trend is one of the key drivers for the very high estimates for FTTH/B take up however additional measures by policy-makers aimed at increasing take-up are still crucial for European citizens and businesses to benefit from the potential of full fibre.

The presentation about the Market Panorama 2020 (figures from September 2019 and excluding the update presented at the FTTH virtual Conference on 3 December) is available here and the corresponding press release here.

Nokia and Open Fiber to accelerate Italian FTTH ultra-broadband adoption

September 09, 2020

Nokia announced it has been awarded a contract with Open Fiber, Italy’s wholesale infrastructure operator, to supply cutting edge optical transport technology for the expansion of the fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) Ultra-BroadBand (UBB) network nationwide.

Nokia is supporting Open Fiber’s commitment to build a fully fibre optical UBB network to connect more than 6,000 municipalities in all the Italian regions. With the network enabling client speeds of up to 1Gb/s, the mission supports the objectives set by the Italian Gigabit Society 2025 strategy.

Nokia and SIAE Microelettronica, a Nokia technology and services partner, joined forces in a consortium to deliver the 1830 Optical Network Extender (ONE) and Network Functions Manager-Transport (NFM-T) solutions for the aggregation layer of Open Fiber’s Access Network.

The consortium will deliver services including installation and commissioning. The UBB network service will then be leased to local FTTH and fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) operators around the country.

Part of the Nokia WaveFabric optical network solution, Nokia’s 1830 ONE suite of wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) optical transport network (OTN) metro access products is designed to have a minimal footprint while offering state-of-the-art ROADM, transport bandwidth and service grooming functionalities permitting Capex/Opex optimisation.

It has the modularity and density to enable more capacity for a greater number of connections and capabilities and is ideal for Access deployment in most topographies, including less accessible areas. Nokia already supports Open Fiber with optical line terminals (OLT) and optical network terminals (ONT) and services in rural areas of Italy.

Elisabetta Ripa, CEO of Open Fiber, says, “FTTH ultra-broadband infrastructure has proven to be a key factor for accelerating the digital transformation of our country, unlocking new opportunities for the Italian digital economy, boosting production and driving competiveness. We believe that also selecting Nokia’s optical network products and solutions will further accelerate our FTTH infrastructure plan, bringing reliability, openess and innovation to the market.”

Giuseppina Di Foggia, country senior officer of Nokia Italy, says, “We are happy that Open Fiber has confidence in Nokia’s optical solutions to expand their ultra-broadband network for the Gigabit Society new era. This agreement is an important one for Nokia Italia and our Optics Research and Development centre in Vimercate, where we meet innovation challenges with great passion, competence and professionalism. Being recognized by a partner such as Open Fiber motivates us further.”

full article at