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Optical Networking Best Practices Handbook by John R. Vacca

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5.2. CARRIERS' OPTICAL NETWORKING REVOLUTION

The communications industry is on the cusp of a revolution that will transform the landscape. This revolution is characterized by three fundamental drivers. First, deregulation has opened the local loop to competition, launching a whole new class of carriers that are spending billions to build out their networks and develop innovative new services. Second, the rapid decline in the cost of fiber optics and Ethernet equipment is beginning to make them an attractive option in the access network. Third, the Internet has spawned genuine demand for broadband services, leading to unprecedented growth in IP data traffic and pressure on carriers to upgrade their networks [2].

These drivers are, in turn, promoting two new key market trends. First, deployment of fiber optics is extending from the backbone to the wide-area network (WAN) and the metropolitan-area network (MAN) and will soon penetrate into the local loop. Second, Ethernet is spreading from the local-area network (LAN) to the MAN and the WAN as the uncontested standard [2].

The convergence of these factors is leading to a fundamental paradigm shift in the communications industry, a shift that will ultimately lead to widespread adoption of a new optical IP Ethernet architecture that combines the best of fiber optics and Ethernet technologies. This architecture is poised to become the dominant means of delivering bundled data, video, and voice services over a single platform [2]. This ...

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