Developing Efficient, High-Capacity Metropolitan Area Networks (OPN Trends Supplement)

Optical-fiber communications owes much of its success to two complementary conditions: one, a staggering in-crease in demand for bandwidth between distant points, and two, an inherent capability within fiber optics to provide such bandwidth. Two ubiquitous applications of optical-fiber communications, undersea systems and long-haul networks, directly leverage this relationship. Both highly developed applications realize tremendous gains by partnering with optical communications. However, the insatiable demand for bandwidth extends beyond long-haul networks—access and aggregation networks must scale to meet demand as well. Metropolitan area net- works (MANs), which bridge the gap between long-haul networks and access networks, have enjoyed much attention as optical technologies enable novel MAN designs.

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