In the seminar series, I heard Gaeton Coulombe of Calix, and Robert Conger of Adtran, speak along a similar theme: what is coming after GPON (gigabit passive optical network).
Well for those who have deployed GPON, and want better service, there is NG-PON2. It opens up a different band of wavelengths, 1524-1544nm. In an interesting decision, rather than use either WDM Wave Division Multiplexing) or TDM (Time Division Multiplexing), it uses a hybrid: TWDM-PON (TDM/WDM-PON), that stacks four 10 GPONs onto a single fiber to deliver 40 Gbit/s capacity downstream.
For the masochists, the ITU specifications can be found at http://www.itu.int/ITU-T/aap/AAPRecDetails.aspx?AAPSeqNo=2924
Both Calix and Adtran, in addition to a host of competitors, plan to start rolling NG-PON2 out later this year.
Imagine all that bandwidth coming to your home! Your kids will be able to walk around the house with their iPads while watching NetFlix. And with the new 4k HDTV standards, you will be able to watch multiple HD football games on a split screen. Bring it on!