The10G-EPON subcommittee of the Ethernet Alliance congratulates the ratification of IEEE Std. 802.3avTM-2009 10G-EPON specifications by IEEE P802.3av Task Force with efforts to extend the speed of EPON networks to 10 Gb/s. This 10G-EPON standard supports symmetric and asymmetric line-rate operations. The symmetric option operates at 10 Gb/s in both the downstream and upstream directions. The asymmetric option, which reflects the fact that IP video services create bandwidth pressure mostly in the downstream direction, uses 10 Gb/s downstream and 1 Gb/s upstream.

IEEE Std. 802.3ah 1 Gb/s EPON (1G-EPON) systems have been deployed to more than 30 million subscribers worldwide and support diverse services, including IPTV, VoIP, and cellular backhaul. Given the large and accelerating deployment of 1G-EPON systems, the IEEE Std. 802.3av enables seamless upgrades via the simultaneous operation of 1 Gb/s and 10 Gb/s symmetric and asymmetric EPON systems on the same outside plant. This allows operators to introduce 10G-EPON without replacing any existing 1G-EPON customer equipment and minimizes the operational impact of upgrading a large, in-service FTTH network.

Currently there are many 10G-EPON field trials under way, primarily in the APAC region. Initial deployments of the 10G-EPON equipment are expected in 2010.