The so-called “last mile” of the telecommunications network, which links residences and business locations to the network, has traditionally been the last bastion of old technology. Residential voice service is still mostly provided via an analog signal over a pair of copper wires that connects the telephone to a switching system in a central office. The high-speed digital technology employed by modern switching systems and inter-office transmission systems does not extend to most residences. The local access network is a landscape of copper wires bound into large cables, splices, cross-boxes and other equipment that has provided voice-grade service over the years. However, the landscape is changing dramatically as both residential and business customers demand more and more bandwidth for a growing number of services including high-speed Internet access and video as well as voice. Telcos such as AT&T and Verizon as well as Multi-Service Operators (MSOs) are both vying to provide the “triple play” (voice, data and video) to these customers. In order to provide the triple play, service providers are introducing digital transmission and optical fiber, which have revolutionized long-haul communication, to the local access network. The Telecommunication Engineering Technology program at RIT is responding to this trend by providing courses and laboratory facilities to introduce students to the associated technology. Our Telecommunication Systems Laboratory now features both passive optical network (PON) and hybrid fiber/coax (HFC) technology. These are two leading approaches to provide broadband access to support the triple play. In addition, we are developing new courses to cover topics such as video transmission and broadband network engineering. This paper presents the current status of our laboratory and course development along with our plans for future enhancements.

Date of creation, presentation, or exhibit



Presented at the 2008 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, PA, June 22-25, 2008.

Copyright © 2008 American Society for Engineering Education

Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in February 2014.

Document Type

Conference Paper

Department, Program, or Center

Electrical, Computer and Telecommunications Engineering Technology (CAST)


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