This paper proposes two novel optical layer schemes for intercommunication between customers in a passive optical network (PON). The proposed schemes use radio frequency (RF) subcarrier multiplexed transmission for intercommunication between customers in conjunction with upstream access to the central office (CO) at baseband. One scheme employs a narrowband fiber Bragg grating (FBG) placed close to the star coupler in the feeder fiber of the PON, while the other uses an additional short-length distribution fiber from the star coupler to each customer unit for the redirection of customer traffic. In both schemes, only one optical transmitter is required at each optical network unit (ONU) for the transmission of customer traffic and upstream access traffic. Moreover, downstream bandwidth is not consumed by customer traffic unlike in previously reported techniques. The authors experimentally verify the feasibility of both schemes with 1.25 Gb/s upstream baseband transmission to the CO and 155 Mb/s customer data transmission on the RF carrier. The experimental results obtained from both schemes are compared, and the power budgets are calculated to analyze the scalability of each scheme. Further, the proposed schemes were discussed in terms of upgradability of the transmission bit rates for the upstream access traffic, bandwidth requirements at the customer premises, dispersion tolerance, and stability issues for the practical implementations of the network.
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