Passive Optical Network (PON) is a telecommunications technology that implements a point-to-multipoint architecture, in which un-powered Fibre Optic Splitters are used to enable a single optical fibre to serve multiple end-points such as customers, without having to provision individual fibres between the hub and customer.
A PON consists of an optical line terminal (OLT) at the service provider's central office (hub) and a number of optical network units (ONUs) or Optical Network Terminals (ONTs), near end users. A PON reduces the amount of fibre and central office equipment required compared with point-to-point architectures. A passive optical network is a form of fibre-optic access network.
In most cases, downstream signals are broadcast to all premises sharing multiple fibres. Encryption can prevent eavesdropping.
Upstream signals are combined using a multiple access protocol, usually time division multiple access (TDMA).
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