October 16, 2021

Calix GPON howto

Setting up and E7 OLT is super weird, it doesn’t really act like normal Juniper/Cisco/whatever routers, it’s sort of Calixy, they kind of have their own approach.

The OLT is the head end, kind of the brains that determines which client gets packets at what timeslot. You can think of GPON as TDMA for fiber networks. It sets up a specific timeslot for each house connection (those are called ONT’s), and shared the whole 2.5Gbps (or 10Gpbs for XG-PON) with each house, but since they’re not all using gigabit at once, you can realistically get away (for now, with current levels of usage) of connecting a single GPON port to 32 people.

You connect only one fiber to the GPON SFP port on the Calix, then connect that single fiber in the field to a 32-way splitter you can get for $50, then connect all the homes to one of the fiber coming out of that splitter and let the Calix E7 do the rest.

But when you hook up a new client (ONT), you have to set up the head end (OLT) to know about that client and what to do with it, like how much bandwidth it should get.

The manual is super hard to get to, and it might require a sign in, but it’s here (unless they move it again).

After you set up the head end OLT, you have to provision the ONT to hook anyone up. Here’s how you do that:

First, plug in a GPON SFP to the e7 port like:

then plug the media converter (I’m using a 803G with a downstream router) like this:

Now you have to go into the management panel on the e7:

Once you login, select the ONT you want to provision from the menu on the left:

Then look for the ONT at the bottom of this list that doesn’t have a ONT Profile, Subscriber ID and Description for it, in this case I’m hooking up a unit to GPON SFP 1-1-5, so you can see it doesn’t have that stuff filled in:

if you go to the Discovered ONT menu and then just click once on the ONT you want to provision then select Action > Link to new provisioning, you can set up the bandwidth package, SFP and description:

Add:

  1. ONT profile: 803G
  2. Admin state: enabled
  3. Subscriber ID: system will auto-generate this
  4. Description: Customer name

Now when you hit “Apply” it will assign (link) it to the SFP it’s connected to. It still can’t pass internet traffic until you assign a data service to it on this panel:

Now you do Action > Create Data Service, then define what service you want to assign to this ONT like:

  1. Subscriber Port: GE-1
  2. Service Name: Data1
  3. BW Profile: (whatever bandwidth package you want, I selected 100m/100m)
  4. Hit “Create”


Now you should see the “Broadband” LED turn green on the media converter, and after you set up the router you should see the Broadband and Service LED’s turn green on the router and you can hook up a laptop and test the bandwidth 🙂