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Optical Networking Best Practices Handbook by John R. Vacca

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2.4. OPTICAL NETWORK RESEARCH IN THE IST PROGRAM

The mass take-up of broadband services and applications will be the next major phase in the global development optical communications networks. Widespread deployment of affordable broadband services depend heavily on the availability of improved optical networks, which already provide the physical infrastructure for much of the world's telecommunications and Internet-related services. Optical technology is also essential to the future development of mobile and wireless communications and cable TV networks. Research on optical networks and related photonics technologies is therefore a strategic objective of the IST program; within the Fifth Framework Program for Research (1998–2002) and the Sixth Framework Program (2002–2006) of the EU. The research focuses on work that is essential to be done at the European level, requiring a collaborative effort involving the research actors across the Union and associated states. The work is carried out within collaborative research projects, involving industry, network operators, and academia with shared-cost funding from the EU. It complements the research program activities at the national level in the member states [5].

Over the past 18 years, there has been enormous progress in optical communications technology in terms of performance and functionality. During this period, the previous EU research program—Research and Technology Development in Advanced Communications in Europe (RACE), Advanced ...

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