When Hurricane Sandy battered the eastern seaboard of the United States in 2012, a storm surge caused catastrophic flooding of Verizon’s central office (CO) in Broad Street, Manhattan. Miles of underground copper cables were ruined by the water. Even worse, paper insulation in the wiring sucked water deeper into the network through capillary action, destroying cables in otherwise dry areas. Verizon found that it was too difficult, expensive and time-consuming to rescue the existing copper network, so decided to rewire with optical fibre cables instead.
Cost and compatibility can make a compelling case for pushing 100Gb/s bandwidth over a single optical channel, both as individual links and supporting 400Gb/s Ethernet, finds Andy Extance
Robin Mersh takes a look at how the industry is creating next-generation optical access fit for 5G
Technological advances to aid the increasing demand for bandwidth, on the path towards the terabit network, should lead to optical signals that are flexible and adaptive, like water, argues Dr Maxim Kuschnerov and Dr Yin Wang