In this paper a proposition for a flexible optical access network is presented. The general idea of a physical layer over an existing gigabit passive optical network (GPON) infrastructure is described, and three possible realizations are reported through laboratory experiments and computer simulations. Two algorithms for efficient bandwidth allocation in the time and wavelength domains have been designed, and the results of their application in one realistic scenario are reported. We found that the combined flexibility in the time and wavelength domains may handle burst arrivals in a cost-effective way and may be considered as a viable solution for upgrading optical access networks in the future.
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