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Passive Optical LAN Solutions (POLS)

Imagine more network performance from fewer parts using less energy in a smaller space. It's called Passive Optical LAN. It's "green" as in "better for the environment," because it uses less energy and consumes far less space and raw materials compared to copper cabling. It's also "green" as in "better for your bottom line." Because the total solution consumes less energy (compared to traditional copper Ethernet solutions), that translates to lower deployment and operating expenses.

What is POLS?

POLS stands for Passive Optical LAN Solution. Put simply, it's a cost-effective, fiber-to-the-desktop enterprise solution that's changing both the network, and the way we think about designing, installing, and maintaining the network. It's called passive because there's no need for active electronics between the main equipment room and the work areas-only passive optical splitters that distribute converged services directly from main switch to the terminals (without using electricity). It brings high performance (gigabit) broadband to the desktop at a fraction of the cost of typical copper-based Ethernet LAN configurations.

Up to 70% less CapEx

A traditional Ethernet LAN typically requires a core switch/router, a distribution switch in each building and multiple stacked workgroup switches on every floor, not to mention, a lot of copper. Because a single fiber supports miles of connectivity, Passive Optical LAN eliminates the need for active electronics between the main equipment room and the work area terminals. In other words, no more costly-to-install and operate distribution and workgroup switches.

Up to 80% less Opex

When it comes to power consumption, Passive Optical LAN is “greener” in more ways than one. By eliminating the need for unnecessary layers of aggregation switches, it can eliminate thousands of kilowatt-hours used by the power and cooling systems that go along with them. At the end of the day, a Passive Optical LAN might use only 1 kW-h for every 5 used by a traditional LAN. Multiply that by thousands of users and your cost per kW-h, and the difference is substantial.

Up to 90% space savings

Consider an office building with 2,000 employees. A traditional LAN would require 18 seven-foot-tall equipment racks with 90 rack units of space. A Passive Optical LAN can accommodate up to 7,000 employees using only one equipment rack with nine rack units. In other words, what used to fill up multiple communications closets may now require none at all, reducing your operating expenses by cutting overhead costs like rent and HVAC. It also equates to fewer things to manage, maintain and worry about.



With the rising use of Internet-based apps, video conferencing and wireless LANs, enterprise broadband demand is exploding. POLS delivers voice, video and data at gigabit speeds to any Ethernet end point such as user devices, access points, wireless controllers, application servers and printers.

The beauty of passivity.

The beauty of passivity.

POLS isn't just greener, less costly, easier to install and easier to maintain. It's also more secure than legacy Ethernet networks. Typical Ethernet LANs emit electronic magnetic signals that can be intercepted by hackers. Passive Optical LAN does not. And POLS supports security mechanisms such as AES (advanced encryption standard) 128-bit encryption.

Finally, POLS is reliable. And when data is the lifeblood of your business, you can't afford downtime.

End-to-end Passive Optical LAN Solutions

The 3M POLS portfolio offers a complete, end-to-end fiber solution. From the equipment room to the work area and everywhere in between, we offer plug-and-play connectivity, high reliability, low cost of ownership. The result is a network that’s better for the environment and your business.

Related Solutions

Contact Us

For information on where to buy, please contact Ryland Marek.

POLS Warranty

Warranty Summary and Training Process (PDF 189KB)