Wired Broadband and Related Industry Glossary of Terms with Acronyms As of 13 June 2011 Compiled By: Conrad L. Young, Director, Broadband Technical Strategy

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A class of encoding methods for physical circuits in which the carrier (current, voltage) returns to zero after each transmitted bit, i.e. the data is carried in pulse width or polarity, not in the level of the signal. [Fre11]
Reuse/Frequency Reuse
The utilization of frequency (channels) more than once in a wireless network; equated primarily with the basic cellular grid design, where each cell uses each channel once within its boundaries and is insulated from other cells using that frequency to allow for anticipated interference; due to the shortcomings of conventional transmission techniques, frequency reuse in adjacent cells has been largely implausible until the recent development of spatial processing technology, which can enable same-cell frequency reuse.

Reverse Direction

Indicates signal flow direction is toward the head-end. Low frequencies are amplified in this direction. [Arr11]
Revenue Generating Unit (RGU)
Commonly referred to one additional cable subscription unit. For example, a customer who signs up for digital video and high-speed Internet access is counted as two RGUs, because the customer is signing up for two subscriptions.

Reverse Channel

The direction of signal flow toward the headend, away from the subscriber; equivalent to upstream.

Reverse Path Forwarding

A technique where a router receives a packet, then floods the packet out on all paths, except the path on which it received the packet.

Radio Frequency


Radio Frequency for Consumer Electronics; a specification written and maintained by the Zigbee Alliance, http://www.zigbee.org/Specifications.aspx, and designed for simple, two-way device-to-device control applications that do not require the full-featured mesh networking capabilities offered by ZigBee 2007. The ZigBee RF4CE specification offers an immediate, low-cost, easy-to-implement solution for control of products and opportunity for a variety of standards including ZigBee Remote Control, ZigBee Input Device and the pending ZigBee 3D Sync. The ZigBee RF4CE specification is designed to control a wide range of products including home entertainment devices, garage door openers, keyless entry systems and many more. ZigBee RF4CE offers lower memory size requirements thereby enabling lower cost implementations. The simple device-to-device topology provides easy development and testing, resulting in faster time to market. ZigBee RF4CE provides a multi-vendor interoperable solution for consumer electronics featuring a simple, robust and low-cost communication network for two-way wireless connectivity. [Zig11]

Request For Comments

RF Carrier

An AM technique wherein a carrier, with a frequency much higher than the encoded information, varies according to the amplitude of the information being encoded. [Fib111]
Radio Frequency (RF) Interference

Request For Information

RF Leakage

Radiation of RF energy, either through a poor connection or a damaged cable. When leakage occurs, proper operation of the network may be hindered. [Arr11]

RF over Glass; SCTE 174 2010, “Radio Frequency over Glass Fiber-to-the-Home Specification “, defines a fiber-to-the-home system optimized for compatibility with hybrid fiber-coax (HFC) plant, using the same end equipment at both the home and at the headend or hub. The RFoG system is defined to begin where the plant becomes passive, extending from that point to the home. This interface is referred to as the Optical Hub. There are many possible variations on the structure of the optical hub, depending on the needs of the system. The RFoG system is defined to terminate at the subscriber-side interface of an RFoG Optical Network Unit (R-ONU) at the home. The specifications in SCTE 174 2010 apply to the RFoG Optical Network Unit (R-ONU) and are designed to allow interoperability between R-ONUs from various manufacturers. SCTE 174 2010 contains specifications for systems that use amplitude modulation (AM) in the upstream path and systems that use frequency modulation (FM) in the upstream path. SCTE 174 2010 details the requirements for AM systems. The sections that apply specifically to FM systems are so noted and do not apply to AM systems. Portions of the AM specifications that do not apply to FM systems are also noted. AM and FM systems cannot be mixed in the same optical distribution network (ODN). [SCT11]

PON Category:


Downstream (DS) Data Rates

Upstream (US) Data Rates


BPON (Broadband PON)

ITU-T G.983

622 Mbps

155 Mbps

RF Overlay using 1550nm optical λ

GPON (Gigabit PON) successor to BPON; provides for transport of asynchronous transfer mode (ATM), time division multiplexing (TDM) & Ethernet

ITU-T G.984

2.488 Gbps

1.244 Gbps

RF Overlay using 1550nm optical λ

EPON (Ethernet PON)

IEEE 802.3ah

100 Mbps

100 Mbps


GE-PON (Gigabit Ethernet PON)

IEEE 802.3ah

1 Gbps (std)

2.5 Gbps (dual speed)

1 Gbps (std)

1 Gbps (dual speed)


10GE-PON (10 Gigabit Ethernet PON)

IEEE 802.3av

10 Gbps

1 Gbps

RF Overlay using 1550nm optical λ

DOCSIS over EPON (DePON) – a combination of EPON & DOCSIS leveraging a cable operator’s DOCSIS network & OSSs (operational support systems). A DePON OLT looks & acts like a CMTS (cable modem termination system).


125 Mbps (32 passive optical split)

125 Mbps (32 passive optical split)

RF Overlay using 1550nm optical λ
DOCSIS 3.0 supports IPTV (internet protocol television)

RFoG (RF over Glass); associated with specific FTTP products & an emerging standard; RF is transmitted over fiber, instead of coaxial cable, through splitters to a node or R-ONT @ the premises; requires the addition of an EDFA (erbium doped fiber amplifier) & return receiver in the hub or headend (HE) to support bi-directional optical transport on a FTTH P2MP plant. Use of existing HE/hub CMTS, eQAM, &/or CMAP along with CPE is required.

SCTE 174 2010

160 Mbps (4-channel bonding)

160 Mbps (4-channel bonding)

DS RF Overlay using 1550nm & US RF Overlay using 1310nm or 1610nm optical λ
DOCSIS 3.0 supports IPTV (internet protocol television)

PON Categories as of 01 March 2011

RFoG Reference Architecture, excerpt from SCTE 174 2010

RF Overlay

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