PONShort for Passive Optical Network, a high-bandwidth, point-to-multipoint optical fiber network based on the asynchronous transfer mode protocol (ATM), Ethernet or TDM.
PONs generally consist of an OLT (Optical Line Termination), which is connected to ONUs (Optical Network Units), aka subscriber terminals, using only fibre cables, optical splitters and other passive components (do not transmit signals using electricity). Up to 32 ONUs can be connected to an OLT.
The OLT is located at a local exchange, and the ONU is located either on the street, in a building, or even in a user's home.
PONs rely on lightwaves for data transfer.
In a PON, signals are routed over the local link with all signals along that link going to all interim transfer points. Optical splitters route signals through the network; optical receivers at intermediate points and subscriber terminals tuned for specific wavelengths of light direct signals intended for their groups of subscribers. At the final destination, a specific residence or business can detect its specified signal.
PONs are capable of delivering high volumes of upstream and downstream bandwidth (up to 622 Mbps downstream and 155 Mbps upstream), which can be changed "on-the-fly" depending on an individual user's needs.
Stay up to date on the latest developments in Internet terminology with a free weekly newsletter from Webopedia. Join to subscribe now.
Webopedia's student apps roundup will help you to better organize your class schedule and stay on top of assignments and homework. Read More »20 Ways to Shorten a URL
If you need to shorten a long URL try this list of 20 free online redirection services. Read More »Top 10 Tech Terms of 2015
The most popular Webopedia definitions of 2015. Read More »
This Webopedia study guide describes the different parts of a computer system and their relations. Read More »Network Fundamentals Study Guide
Networking fundamentals teaches the building blocks of modern network design. Learn different types of networks, concepts, architecture and... Read More »The Five Generations of Computers
Learn about each of the five generations of computers and major technology developments that have led to the current devices that we use today. Read More »