Blow by blow

One of the chief advantages of optical fibre cables – over those made from copper – is that they are significantly smaller and lighter, so are easier to handle and install. Standard twisted-pair copper cables used for the old telephony trunk networks were enormously heavy, with typical cables measuring between 20 and 40mm in diameter and weighing almost half a tonne per kilometre. And that’s only a 100-pair cable; a 1,000-pair cable would frequently weigh more than three tonnes per kilometre.


CableLabs is spearheading efforts to develop a proposal that uses coherent optics to dramatically boost the capacity of hybrid fibre coaxial networks, reports Andy Extance


Systems vendors are using intelligent software to squeeze more performance from optical networks. Pauline Rigby reports on developments at OFC 2017