In this paper, we propose an auto-configurable optical amplifier (AC-OA) for passive optical networks (PONs); the value of optical attenuation is automatically controlled to prevent optical overloading of the OA. The AC-OA has a variable optical attenuator (VOA) at the input and a controller synchronized with an external facility database (FDB). The controller obtains the infrastructure information of each ONU and calculates the optimum setting for the input VOA. This structure enables the AC-OA to autonomously react to the spectrum being used. We simulate AC-OA operation based on the parameters of a commercial access network and evaluate the installation-cost reduction possible.
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