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Mark Donahue Mark Donahue is an associate editor for Telephony magazine. Previously, he worked in The Associated Press’ Chicago bureau, as well as two trade publications. He graduated from...more

Aurora Networks Outlines Five ‘Must-Have’ Components for Green Optical Network Deployments

Fiber Deep ensures green strategy success through reduced energy consumption and associated cost savings


SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Aug. 31, 2009 – Cable operators have a lot to consider when assessing the environmental and financial benefits of green optical networks. To help address these questions, Aurora Networks, Inc., the only optical transport solution provider focused on delivering a cost-effective, optimized platform for next-generation cable services, has developed a checklist identifying five “must-have” components for green optical networks.


As cable operators and vendors implement strategies that aim to reduce energy usage and other environmental impacts, the cable industry can implement the most effective and green optical transport solutions to deliver today’s subscriber-demanded services.


According to the IEEE’s Energy Efficient Ethernet Committee, telecommunications network equipment alone accounts for 1 percent of all power consumption in the United States. Also, research from the International Telecommunications Union estimates that the global information and communications technology (ICT) industry accounts for about 3 percent of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. These industry statistics, coupled with operator feedback, support the need for a cost-effective transition to environmentally-friendly equipment and services.


“The cable industry has various thoughts on how to implement a successful green strategy, but many would agree that the two most important elements of success come with reducing our environmental impact while at the same time reducing costs to the operator,” said John Dahlquist, vice president of marketing for Aurora Networks. “As Aurora Networks continues to work with many operators around the globe to implement green solutions, we see an opportunity to share our field knowledge so that the entire industry can benefit.”


To meet the cable industry’s need for a cost-effective transition to environmentally-friendly equipment and services, Aurora Networks recommends that operators look at the following criteria when choosing a green optical transport architecture:


1. Elimination of RF actives – Cable network architectures that eliminate the need for RF amplifiers in the coaxial plant by pushing fiber deeper realize more than a 70 percent reduction in the number of active devices in the distribution portion of the network. This results in more than a 50 percent drop in power consumption and a significant reduction in maintenance requirements, including truck rolls. Fiber is hundreds of times lower in signal attenuation than coax; thus replacing coax with fiber enables a significantly more efficient network to be built.


2. Cut in operating costs – Building a network with fewer active components greatly decreases overall costs in equipment installation and proactive network maintenance. A network architecture with fewer active components can streamline maintenance requirements and accrue additional green benefits, including lower gas consumption and exhaust emissions that result from fewer truck rolls.


3. Reduction in the number of homes served per node – Traditional HFC architectures typically serve from 500 to 2,000 homes. Operators can reduce the number of homes served per node for greater network granularity. This not only increases bandwidth per subscriber, but also reduces the number of actives in a network, dramatically increasing network reliability and associated service availability. Ultimately, this results in fewer potential failure points between the headend and the customer; and an outage will affect fewer subscribers.


4. Future-proof technology – Digitized return technology supports the transport of legacy upstream services and DOCSIS® 3.0 without distance limitations to ensure that any green network upgrades also contain the components for a future-proof network.


5. Element management system – With increasing subscriber reliance on higher-revenue services, high network availability is critical and hence operators need to minimize any network downtime. With the latest advances in digital return technology, element management can now be achieved without the need for high-cost transponders, headend and hub hardware, and expensive software.


Incorporating these five components into a green network upgrade can achieve significant cost savings. Fiber Deep, cable’s first truly green architecture, meets all five criteria.


For example, power for a typical 70,000-home serving area, with an average of approximately 85 homes per node, costs only $75,000 a year with Fiber Deep, compared to approximately $310,000 for a similar-sized HFC network serving 500 homes per node. In this scenario, cable operators can achieve the following benefits:


• Annual energy cost savings of more than 75 percent for this serving area

• More than 70 percent reduction in plant actives

• More than 65 percent reduction in maintenance and operations costs


Today, with recent advances in technology, a Fiber Deep network can be deployed for approximately the same cost as a traditional HFC network.


For more information on Aurora Networks’ green Fiber Deep solutions, please visit http://www.aurora.com/site/applications.an?li=a-fd; and for more information on Aurora Networks’ green policy, please visit http://www.aurora.com/site/company.an?li=c-g-overview.


About Aurora Networks

Aurora Networks is evolving cable by focusing on innovative solutions that build future-proof networks to accommodate the cable subscriber services of today and tomorrow. Aurora Networks is the only pure-play optical transport solution provider that is focused solely on cable MSOs. Using its proven understanding of cable networks, Aurora Networks delivers unique solutions - such as its Fiber Deep architecture and digital return technology - to address specific issues of the cable industry. A technology leader driven by innovation and industry-firsts, Aurora Networks enables leading MSOs across the globe to compete with a cost-effective, optimized launch pad for next-generation cable services. To learn more about Aurora Networks’ core cable solutions, please call 408-235-7000 or visit www.aurora.com.


Aurora, Aurora Networks and the Aurora logo are trademarks of Aurora Networks, Inc. in the United States and other countries. DOCSIS is a mark of Cable Television Laboratories, Inc.. Other marks are the property of their respective owners and are used here only for identification purposes.

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