Top ten stories of 2017

As the year ends and a new one starts, it’s time to look back at some of the highlights of the last 12 months. 2017 was a great year for the optical networking industry and for Fibre Systems in particular as website traffic grew by 30 per cent. We’ve studied the statistics to see who was reading what. We then divided our top ten stories of the year into the five most-read news stories and the five most popular feature articles. Without further ado, here they are.

Top five news stories

Here are the headlines that caught our readers’ attention in 2017.

#5: Cignal AI: 2017 will be the year of metro 200G

More than half of the metro WDM bandwidth deployed in 2017 will be coherent 200G or above, with the highest volume coming from compact data centre interconnect (DCI) equipment used by cloud and colocation providers, according to a report from market research firm Cignal AI.

#4: What’s in a name? Fibre ads ruling could harm investment

In November, irate broadband infrastructure firms lashed out at a bizarre ruling from the UK’s advertising watchdog that will allow service providers to continue to use the word ‘fibre’ in their commercials, even when the connection to the home is not an optical fibre.

#3: Japanese team tops 100 terabits over an optical fibre

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) and six partners established a new world record of 118.5Tb/s for the largest transmission capacity achieved over an optical fibre of standard dimensions. This story explained how they did it.

#2: Infrastructure investors pour money into British broadband

Follow the money… Britain has a reputation as a backwater when it comes to fibre-optic broadband connections but that looks set to change. This summer, some £500 million of equity and new debt was invested in alternative network providers in the UK.

#1: Fibre versus wireless is an increasingly ridiculous fight

The economic benefits of 5G mobile will outstrip those of fibre broadband by 2026, just six years after it begins roll-out, claimed a study released by UK mobile operator O2 and its research partner Development Economics Ltd. We weren’t the only ones who thought this was total nonsense!

Top five feature articles

We live in a news-driven society where attention spans are constantly challenged. Bucking this trend – and something that we’re proud of as a publication – is the persistent popularity of some of our long-form content. In fact, the most read articles on our website are features. The top five for our end-of-year round-up includes the two most popular articles from 2017 and the two most popular overall, regardless of publication year, as well as a special mention for this year’s sponsored article with the most page views, which has earned a place on this list.

#5: The state of telecom in 2017

Scott Wilkinson from ECI Telecom helped us end the year in time-honoured fashion with a round-up of industry trends and predictions for the year ahead, to see what’s in store for optical component and equipment companies. If you want to know what he said, you’ll have to read the article.

#4: Getting the measure of Viavi

Our most read feature article from 2017 was in originally published in the Autumn issue of the magazine. We interviewed Oleg Khyakin, chief executive of Viavi Solutions, about how the company is adapting to change, both internal and within the test and measurement industry.

#3: Five common FTTH myths debunked

Originally published in October 2013 as the magazine was relaunched by Europa Science, this article has remained a firm reader favourite ever since. Hartwig Tauber, the (former) director general of the FTTH Council Europe, tears down the most common arguments against investing in new fibre to the home networks.

#2: Getting the most out of currently deployed fibre infrastructure

The most-read sponsored article of 2017 was from Antonio Napoli and Joao Pedro at Coriant R&D. They examine three methods to increase the capacity of existing optical systems to accommodate the growing demand, and (spoiler alert!) conclude that opening up new transmission bands looks the most promising. L-band technology will be needed soon, and the O, E, and S bands from the middle of next decade, the authors believe. Operators Telefonica, BT, Deutsche Telekom, and Orange contributed to the research reported in the article.

#1: Advantages of gigabit POF in home networks

Our most read article of the year, this article from Spanish business KDPOF has been a surprise hit since it was published 2.5 years ago. The article discusses the importance of the home network, and the dichotomy that service providers face as their service gets better and faster, while the customer experience slides as the home network struggles to keep up. Plastic optical fibre – enabled by transceiver chips that the company makes – forms the basis of a consumer-friendly gigabit-capable home network. All of that attention must indicate something…  and sure enough in 2017, Telefonica has said it plans to start selling self-install home networking kits based on plastic optical fibre.

That concludes our top ten articles for 2017.

Wishing all our readers the very best for the coming year!

Pauline Rigby, Consulting editor


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To continue growing data traffic, optical scientists are tackling tough questions about nonlinear effects in optical fibre, discovers Andy Extance