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Home : ITU-T Home : Study Groups : Study Group 15
Question 18/15 – Development of optical networks in the access area
(Continuation of Q8/6)


Progress on multimedia technologies has led to the active development of many kinds of broadband services such as data and video communication over access networks. In order to provide these services in a timely way, optical fibre access networks must be constructed immediately, economically and effectively for fibre to the x (where “x” indicates the final location on the user side) (FTTx). The passive optical network (PON) system is used in many countries for FTTx. Therefore, suitable PON configurations must be considered, taking into account network installation, maintenance, operation and administration for each stage (initial stage, growth stage, maturity stage and final stage). Moreover, it is important to consider suitable optical access network planning for urban areas with concentrated optical fibre demand, as well as for rural areas, which disperse the optical fibre demand across a wide area. The above items will be studied in this Question.

The evolution towards WDM PON technology must also be taken into account in the planning of PON infrastructure, in order to allow non-disruptive transition.

In addition, the optical access network may be constructed using aerial infrastructure, which must take into account harsh environments (wind pressure and so on) and long-term reliability. In this Question, aerial infrastructure design will also be considered.


Study items to be considered include, but are not limited to:

  • What are the suitable passive optical network (PON) configurations for initial stage, growth stage, maturity stage and final stage?
  • What are the suitable optical access network for urban areas and rural areas taking into account the optical fibre demand and the expanse of area?
  • What are the key considerations for indoor and outdoor network design taking into account planning and growth?
  • What are the key considerations for aerial infrastructure design taking into account harsh environments (wind pressure and so on) and long-term reliability?


Tasks include, but are not limited to:

  • Passive optical networks (PON) configuration for FTTx (2011)
  • Optical access network design of urban area and rural area (2011)
  • Aerial infrastructure design for optical access network (2012)
  • Revision of existing Recommendations

NOTE: An up-to-date status of work under this Question is contained in the SG15 Work Programme at



  • ITU-T L.15, L.42, L.52, L.65


  • Q16/15, Q17/15

Standardization bodies, forums and consortia:

  • IEC TC86


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Updated : 2008-12-23