This Recommendation describes a flexible optical fibre access network capable of supporting the bandwidth requirements of business and residential services, and covers systems with nominal line rates of 1244.160 Mbit/s and 2488.320 Mbit/s in the downstream direction and 155.520 Mbit/s, 622.080 Mbit/s, 1244.160 Mbit/s and 2488.320 Mbit/s in the upstream direction. Both symmetrical and asymmetrical (upstream/downstream) Gigabit-capable Passive Optical Network (GPON) systems are described. This Recommendation proposes the physical layer requirements and specifications for the Physical Media Dependent (PMD) layer. The Transmission Convergence (TC) layer and ranging protocol for GPON systems are described in a different ITU-T Recommendation.

This Recommendation describes a system that represents an evolutionary development from the system described in ITU-T Rec. G.983.1. To the greatest extent possible, this Recommendation maintains the requirements of ITU-T Rec. G.983.1 to insure maximal continuity with existing systems and optical fibre infrastructure.