Passive-optical LAN. It packs a huge punch and it’s likely to shape how we’ll work in the future.
It may sound quite technical, but the basics are really quite simple. The ultra-fast fibre network we’ve been busy building delivers some of the best broadband technology in the world right to your home. Passive optical LAN technology, takes this fibre straight to every desktop in a building which means videos, files and data come to each and every person at ultra-fast gigabit speeds.
Most office IT operates using a Local Area Network or LAN. These days, our ultra-fast fibre network connects to a point in an office building, and from there a network of copper cabling takes over. Those cables run into large communications rooms, normally one on every floor, which splits and allocates broadband to each desktop. The components driving a copper LAN require multiple pieces of componentry, electricity and cooling to make sure they operate correctly.
As we use more data-hungry technology at work it’s likely that legacy copper networks may not be up to the job in the future. And, just like our home broadband, we’ll need to upgrade how office buildings connect to the world to meet future needs.
Here are four reasons we believe passive-optical LAN is likely to be the future of how we’re working.
- It could be a significant money saver
The network technology behind passive-optical LAN means data, video, and voice services move over a single cable of fibre without electricity or other componentry. There’s no need for large communications rooms which means less kit to purchase, a massive cut in electricity bills and more space for that extra meeting room or more desks. Copper wiring and the parts needed to keep it humming along is also more expensive to buy and maintain. Nokia reports that a passive-optical LAN system can save an organisation 56% in CAPEX and 54% in OPEX in its first year.
- It’s better for the environment
Because it uses less electricity and components to keep it going, passive-optical LAN is friendlier for the environment. It doesn’t heat up, so there’s no need to provide air conditioning systems to keep it humming along either.
- It increases productivity
Rather than sharing your bandwidth with others in the building, passive-optical LAN can bring a gigabit connection to each desktop. That means your computer can work faster and will be able to run cool tools like 4K video-conferencing and Cloud computing much more efficiently. It’s also less frustrating as you won’t be waiting for large files to load. When things work better we get more done, simple.
- It’s future-proof
We may not be seeing our boss beam into our offices in full holographic glory when video conferencing …yet. But it’s hard to know what technology we’ll be needing at work in a few years’ time. Like our homes it’s important to build our office spaces for the future. With a massive gigabit connection going to every desktop, passive-optical LAN will keep us humming along for some time yet, and if we need 10gigabits at some point in the future the same fibre-optic cable can transmit that too, it’s just a case of updating a few things at each end rather than replacing the cables. The technology is also more secure and we begin to rely more and more on the Cloud, we’ll want that peace of mind.
It won’t happen in the next 12 months, but it’s not really a case of whether your current office building needs passive-optical LAN technology to operate, it’s more a case of when.
See for yourself
As part of TechWeek17, Chorus has invited Environment Canterbury, one of the first NZ organisations to utilise passive-optical LAN technology, and New Zealand and international industry leaders to take part in a lively panel discussion at Chorus’ state-of-the-art Fibre Experience Lab in Auckland. Following the discussion you can see how it all works in a hands-on demonstration of passive-optical LAN in the Lab. Numbers are limited to 50 so register now to avoid disappointment.
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