When the world’s first transatlantic cable failed in 1858 – just three weeks after it had been inaugurated with a congratulatory telegram from Queen Victoria to US President James Buchanan – it took eight years until a replacement was operational. The cable, made of copper wires insulated with natural latex from the gutta-percha tree, probably had manufacturing faults and burnt out when its electric load was cranked up to compensate for rapidly deteriorating signal strength.
Fibre Systems Autumn 2013
Carriers are exploring a fundamental change to how they manage and operate their networks.
Distributed routing protocols that enable connectionless packet-based networking have long been the norm for carrier traffic. Now operators are exploring the idea of a central control instead of sprinkling intelligence across the equipment in their networks.
Industry observers have described 2013 as ‘the year of 100G’. According to Infonetics Research, spending on wavelength-division multiplexed (WDM) equipment accelerated dramatically as a result of new 100G deployments. In fact, the market-research firm says that worldwide spending on 100G equipment is close to 15 per cent of all optical hardware spending, which itself totalled $3.3 billion (€2.4 billion) in the second quarter of this year.
Thomas J. Watson, chairman and CEO of IBM, famously said: ‘There is a world market for about five computers’. While this statement would have been accurate at the time (1943), viewed through the lens of history it seems rather silly. In any case, the statement is probably apocryphal. There is no record that Watson ever said anything of the sort.
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