A passive optical network (PON) is a system that brings optical fiber cabling and signals all or most of the way to the end user. Depending on where the PON terminates, the system can be described as fiber-to-the-curb (FTTC), fiber-to-the-building (FTTB), or fiber-to-the-home (FTTH).
Downstream signal coming from the central office is broadcast to each customer premises sharing a fiber. Encryption is used to prevent eavesdropping. Upstream signals are combined using a multiple-access protocol, usually time division multiple access (TDMA).
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) orOptical Network Terminals (ONTs), near end users.