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Optical access networks are being widely deployed due to their high capacity and scalability. The reliability of these networks is a key issue because of the impact of failures on both the number of interrupted services and significance of the service interruptions for the community. Consequently, the service interruption penalties that a network operator would need to pay are directly related to the network reliability performance. Nowadays, penalties are paid to business customers when the service interruption time is longer than the value of the Service Level Agreement agreed with the operator. However, the number of users requesting penalties increases, which has triggered the need of protection mechanisms in access networks. In this paper, the investments required to offer protection for different planning approaches will be compared for different optical access technologies (TDM, WDM, AON and P2P). The evaluation of the costs associated to each scenario such as infrastructure, equipment, power consumption, failure reparation etc. is presented. The overall cost reduction when investing on infrastructure protection is highlighted.