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Optical Networking Best Practices Handbook by John R. Vacca

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Chapter 2. Types of Optical Networking Technology

The breakup of monopoly telephone companies has left the industry with little solid data on optical network traffic, structure, and capacity. Carriers usually have a reasonable idea of the workings of their own systems, but in a competitive environment they often consider this information proprietary. With no single source of information on national and global optical networks, the industry has turned to market analysts, who rely on data from carriers and manufacturers to formulate an overall view. Unfortunately, analysts cannot get complete information, and the data they do obtain have sometimes been inaccurate. This chapter will analyze this problem and discuss in detail some of the optical networking technology that is out there to fix it [1].

The problem peaked during the bubble, when analysts claimed that Internet traffic was doubling every 3 months or 100 days. Carriers responded by rushing to build new long-haul transmission systems on land and at sea. Only after the bubble burst did it become clear that claims of runaway Internet growth were an Internet myth. The big question now is what is really out there? How far did the supply of bandwidth overshoot the no-longer-limitless demand? All that is clear is that there are no simple answers [1].

The problems start with defining traffic and capacity. If there is an optical fiber glut, why do some calls from New York fail to go through to Paris? One prime reason is that long-haul ...

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