Given coherent optics technology development, cost-reduction trends, capacity demand trends and existing fiber-network assets of telcos, and cellular and cable companies, it is a natural evolution for coherent optics technology to migrate to the access environment. Challenges in optimizing the use of analog optics and balancing trade-offs of high carrier-to-noise ratio performance requirements at reasonable optical power levels to multiplex many wavelengths have led to cable’s transition to distributed access architectures and the use of digital direct-detection systems. The role of point-to-point (P2P) coherent optical links in access networks is examined, initially as a backhaul tool for broadband node, enterprise and base-station traffic and ultimately to provide direct-connectivity to high-capacity end-points. Given the headway achieved in specification generation bodies and development progress of optical component and transceiver manufacturers focusing on shorter link distances, a future with coherent optics in the access is upon us.