A three-year pan-European research project called DISCUS has been awarded €8.1 million in funding under the European Union 7th Framework Programme. The main objective of DISCUS is to produce an end-to-end network architecture based on long-reach passive optical networks (PONs) that scales economically when sustained customer bandwidths grow by three orders of magnitude or more compared to today’s rates over DSL.
Like all European research projects, it has a charmingly contrived acronym, which in this case stands for “DIStributed Core for unlimited bandwidth supply for all Users and Services”. The project, which kicked off in November 2012, is being coordinated by CTVR, the national telecommunications research centre headquartered at Trinity College Dublin in Ireland.
The DISCUS project is aiming to develop an access network technology with high split factors and long reach that can take advantage of future technology improvements as they become available, such as coherent detection in the access network. The target split ratio will be 512 in the physical network, and the reach target will be 125km, but designs that trade split and range will also be investigated.
The performance and cost of the proposed end-to-end solution will then be modelled and compared to conventional FTTX access architectures (e.g. GPON, fibre-to-the-cabinet, point to point), Ethernet metro access networks and IP-MPLS core networks. The project aims to achieve a significant reduction in the number of network buildings, customer network ports and network port cards in order to make high-speed broadband over optical networks a reality in the future. Other work packages include proposals for regulation that will encourage the necessary broadband network upgrades.
The three-year European project includes 13 collaborative partners in industry and academia in Belgium, Germany, Spain, Italy, UK, Sweden and France. CTVR will be collaborating with major European telecom operators and equipment vendors such as Telefónica, Telecom Italia, Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia-Siemens as well as universities and SMEs.
By Pauline Rigby
Press release: Minister Rabbitte Announces €8.1 million EU Funding for Telecommunications Project that will Revolutionise Broadband Provision in Ireland and Europe