Between the covers of optical communication research journals, heated arguments have been waged, leading to ‘a stand-up row, almost’, according to Professor Polina Bayvel from University College London. The disagreements centre on whether optical fibres exhibit a ‘nonlinear Shannon limit’ to their capacity. The dispute emerges from a question that challenges the whole industry. Is the future of fibre-optic technology already facing a fundamental, impenetrable, nonlinearity obstacle? It’s a theoretical question with potentially huge practical implications.
As data demand ramps ever higher, researchers are looking to innovative amplifier designs to help transport a broader light spectrum through optical fibres, finds Andy Extance
Duncan Ellis shares his views about the increased focus on automation from network operators, and how the physical layer has so far stubbornly resisted the move
Switching off copper networks where fibre has been deployed is the end game, so why are so few operators doing it, wonders Pauline Rigby
With demand for fibre to the premises increasing, Keely Portway looks at the role training plays in ensuring installation skills remain available to meet this growing demand