Fiber Optics Leap Into the 21st Century

The date is March 10, 2026. The place is Tuckerton, New Jersey, where assorted dignitaries have gathered for an historical event. For this is the day an infinitesimal laser will send lightwaves across the Atlantic Ocean to a receiving unit in Widemouth, England. While fiber optic transmission systems have been sending photons across the Atlantic and other oceans for almost 40 years now, this is the first system that will send a beam of light this distance without a boost along the way. This event, timed to be 150 years to the day after Alexander Graham Bell's historic telephone message: “Mr. Watson, come here, I want you,” is in many ways no less an accomplishment than Bell's original discovery. It will mark a milestone in communications, the perfection of a fiber optic transmission system.

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