A high-speed programmable optical attenuator is introduced that can provide high dynamic range and high resolution attenuation control. An acousto-optic Bragg cell has been used to realize the desired attenuator. Various practical architectures have been proposed to prove the concept. A typical acousto-optic deflector (AOD) based design offers a dynamic range of 46.11 dB. The average resolution is 3.08 dB/volt whereas the best resolution achieved is 0.39 dB/volt. The response time of the AO attenuator is in the sub microsecond(s) regime, and was observed as low as 0.175 microsecond(s) . The polarization dependent loss was about 0.7 dB, whereas the excess losses were about 1.5 dB.