July 9, 2019 by Teresa McGaughey

Is it Time to Increase your Subscriber’s Bandwidth with XGS-PON or NG-PON2?


It’s rapidly becoming an all-video world. Video is likely the application using the majority of your subscribers’ bandwidth. So, if you are still deploying GPON to your subscribers, it must be running out of steam by now, right?

Well, for some subscribers it is, but for the majority of subscribers there is still plenty of bandwidth left. We recently took a look at data from our own Calix Marketing Cloud and specifically focused on subscribers with fiber GPON service. The dataset we looked at included 290,000 subscribers. We found that over a 28-day period, subscribers with a 10 Mbps service hit their downstream speed tier limit an average of 54 times. But those subscribers whose service tier was 100 Mbps, only hit the downstream limit three times in the same 28-day period. Subscribers with 1 Gbps service never hit their speed tier limit. This would indicate that the 10 Mbps service tier is a bit low for most people. This makes sense when you realize that Netflix requires 5 Mbps for HD streaming. So, with one TV streaming and the kids looking at YouTube videos, you can quickly see how 10 Mbps can be hit periodically.

But this doesn’t explain why people are saying GPON is running out of steam. We did find in our data that there are a few subscribers that regularly use close to 500 Mbps. It is not clear what they are doing to use that much data consistently. For example, 4k UHD on Netflix only requires 25 Mbps. So that would require 20 4K TVs streaming all streaming at the same time in their house. But, regardless of the applications they are using, these few subscribers could be impacting the rest of your GPON subscribers’ experience. So, what should you do? 

The easiest thing to do is move those few very high-bandwidth users to 10G PON. You can easily add XGS-PON or NG-PON2 to your existing GPON. If you’d like to learn more about deploying 10G PON, listen to my recent webinar GPON running out of steam?  When do you move to 10G PON?