Adva Optical Networking is engaged in a WDM-PON trial in Austria to test the practicality of delivering uncontended gigabit connectivity to rural residential subscribers.

The projects is being conducted with Energie AG Oberosterreich Data (Data) and Elcon Systemtechnik, in the Austrian municipality of Allhaming.

WDM-PON enables individual subscribers to be independently connected to a remote central office that can be tens of kilometers away. Optical WDM allows subscribers to share a common trunk fiber and eliminates the need for active field equipment, Adva explained. With WDM-PON, each connection can get a dedicated wavelength.

"The key question is how do you build a network that can satisfy this demand while providing the best possible broadband experience? Especially as the network needs to be future-proof," asked Markus Fellhofer, head of fiber-to-the-home (FTTH), Data.

"These are some of the very questions that we seek to answer with this trial,” Fellhofer continued. “Residential WDM-PON technology is still in its infancy. Real-life trials such as this will help it to mature and are key in developing scalable and future-proof FTTH solutions. The residents of Allhaming are direct beneficiaries of this. They are already experiencing the impact high-speed broadband access can have on their daily lives."

The trial forms part of the collaborative EU PIANO+ projects TUCAN and IMPACT that are fostering the development of ultra-broadband WDM-PON networks. Lessons learned from the trial will be used to expand optical broadband delivery to a further thirty development areas in the Upper Austria region in 2014.

"This trial isn't just about technology, it's about people, it's about communities, it's about the digital society," commented Jorg-Peter Elbers, vice president, advanced technology, Adva Optical Networking.

"Working with the residents of Allhaming, you see firsthand how important dependable access to high-speed broadband is. People of this municipality are now able to video chat with distant relatives, participate in online learning and benefit from all the other applications that depend upon broadband access. All this is possible because of our WDM-PON technology. What's even more exciting is that this is only the first stage of the trial. In 2014, we will go even further – connecting more users and bringing additional technology developed with other collaboration partners such as Oclaro that provides the integrated tunable laser devices for the trial."