IEEE Std 802.3bn “Standard for Ethernet Amendment 6: Physical Layer Specifications and Management Parameters for Ethernet Passive Optical Networks Protocol over Coax” is a subscriber access network technology developed by the IEEE P802.3bn EPON Protocol over Coax (EPoC) Task Force and approved by the IEEE-SA Standards Board on September 22, 2016. It is common practice for optical fiber cabling providing subscriber network services to be pulled just to the edge of the neighborhood, street, curb, or basement. Pulling new or additional optical fiber cabling can be expensive and a significant number of subscribers are already served by existing coaxial networks that are owned by the customer, carrier, or service provider/operator. EPoC bridges the gap between the two existing media types and facilitates migration to a unified Ethernet-based architecture. IPTV, video telephony, and high speed internet and gaming are example applications that are driving the need for Ethernet in the subscriber network access space. This amendment defines a new Physical Layer (PHY) specification for operating the EPON protocol over point-to-multipoint RF distribution plants comprised of either amplified or passive coaxial media in subscriber access network applications and specify Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE) operation for EPOC PHYs.

Goals and Objectives for EPON Protocol over Coax (EPoC) operation:

  • Specify a PHY to support subscriber access networks capable of supporting burst mode and continuous mode operation using the EPON protocol and operating on point-to-multipoint RF distribution plants comprised of either amplified or passive coaxial media
  • Maintain compatibility with 1G‐EPON and 10G‐EPON, as currently defined in IEEE Std. 802.3 with minimal augmentation to MPCP and/or OAM if needed to support the new PHY
  • Define required plant configurations and conditions within an overall coaxial network operating model
  • Provide a physical layer specification that is capable of:
    • A baseline data rate of 1 Gb/s at the MAC/PLS service interface when transmitting in 120 MHz, or less, of assigned spectrum under defined baseline plant conditions;
    • A data rate lower than the baseline data rate when transmitting in less than 120 MHz of assigned spectrum or under poorer than defined plant conditions;
    • A data rate higher than the 1 Gb/s baseline data rate and up to 10 Gb/s when transmitting in assigned spectrum and in channel conditions that permit
  • PHY to support symmetric and asymmetric data rate operation
  • PHY to support symmetric and asymmetric spectrum assignment for bidirectional transmission
  • PHY to support independent configuration of upstream and downstream transmission operating parameters
  • PHY to operate in the cable spectrum assigned for its operation without causing harmful interference to any signals or services carried in the remainder of the cable spectrum
  • PHY to have:
    • A downstream frame error ratio better than 10-6 at the MAC/PLS service interface;
    • An upstream frame error ratio better than 5×10‐5 at the MAC/PLS service interface
  • Define Energy Efficient Ethernet operation for EPON Protocol over Coax PHYs
  • Mean Time To False Packet Acceptance at least equal to 1.4×1010 years

The IEEE 802.3 EPON Protocol over a Coax (EPoC) PHY Call-For-Interest Consensus Presentation can be found here: http://www.ieee802.org/3/epoc/public/nov11/CFI_01_1111.pdf

The Project Authorization Request (PAR), approved on August 30, 2012, can be found here: http://www.ieee802.org/3/bn/P802.3bn.pdf

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