What Is a Passive Optical Local Area Network?

Topology refers to the physical property of connecting two point-to-point networks using light, typically using optical fibers. The property of topology can be studied either qualitatively or quantitatively. In qualitative studies, the network topology is described in terms of fiber types, properties, and optical paths. In quantitative studies, the network topology is measured against bandwidth and performance. Qualitative studies, on the other hand, consider the utility of the network topology as a function of the input parameters.

The major benefits of Passive Optical Local Area Network technology are: it can replace copper wires; it can provide for better cost efficiency; it can help in providing for improved stability and reliability. Further, with the use of various technologies like Soft optical networking, optical transmitters can be positioned at various points along with the network infrastructure. This enables easy accessibility of signals by end-users.

The major disadvantages of implementing a Passive Optical Local Area Network are: it is more susceptible to RF interference; it is more prone to degradation at the optical interface compared to traditional copper wiring. A passive optical local area network can be protected by physically locking the fibers in pairs. Electrically locking the fiber enables data to be transmitted only when the optical fibers are both lit. However, Electrically locking the fibers involves some additional cost since the additional equipment needs to be installed. Moreover, it also requires advanced coordination between the enterprise data systems as well as the central switching center.

Optically connected networks based on Passive Optical Local Area Networks are often referred to as ATM networks. Such networks are widely used in healthcare, retail, wholesale, and utility industries for unified communications. ATM networks can be established using fiber optics. However, ATM networks can also be established using copper wiring.

ATM is one of the forms …