[LibreQoS] [Starlink] GPON vs Active Fiber Ethernet

dan dandenson at gmail.com
Fri Mar 17 19:48:43 EDT 2023

per copper vs gpon.  There are a lot of parts to this but I think it's safe
to say that any *DSL product is inferior to ethernet or gpon so aren't part
of the conversation.   We're really talking ethernet vs *GPON here.  No
other fiber options are widespread and viable for most.  I don't want to
play both sides here so I'm just talking pros on 'ethernet'.  not
'copper'... but also copper.

Ethernet lives on copper or fiber.
Copper 'last meter' is cheap, CHEAPER than any fiber product.  Copper is
cheaper until you hit 100m and then fiber wins.
Ethernet is near wire speed *routed* on a number of modern and
weather resistant outdoor products.
Backhauling on multi-strand fiber eliminates one primary negative with
copper in that cost over 100m number.
There's likely some wash in having fiber to the home and the cost of
termination and ONUs vs PoE injectors in home pushing up to powered
Pro for powered switch is that routing option.  Dramatically easier (as in,
it's actually possible) to build rings and meshy routed networks on
ethernet allowing for much more backhoe-fade safe networks.   While not as
future proof as fiber strands to the door, it's capable of 1G, 2.5G today
and really 10G for the most part though there is a lack of hardware with
those ports so leave that up in the air.  XGSPON wins the max per port
speed here, but that same network with active ethernet over fiber backhauls
and copper can EASILY do 100G on the backhaul and 2.5G/port and even go
hybrid with mostly copper last meter and some active fiber off 10,40,100G
ports when profitable.

It's not all roses, but there are real world scenarios where a methodical
buildout of ethernet can be a better choice especially if we're talking
about maximum performance.

I don't want to lean too heavily on mikrotik here, lots of people aren't in
love with them, but they are definitely pushing boundaries here.
4x100G switch, outdoor grade, supports 4x breakout cables so can do 4x4x25G
or 2x100G feeds + 2x4x25 or 2x4x10G on a Marvell Prestera switch (presents
as individual interfaces).  XGSPON can't touch it.  Heck, you could do
remote XGSPON with a TIBIT port if you really wanted to, or feed an
Netpower 7R units with 10Gbps each and get reverse PoE to power everything.
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