The rapid and explosive growth of the Internet and the World Wide Web is probably the driving force behind the relentless demand for information networks with increasingly larger capacities. When a large amount of data is to be transmitted in a short time, a large transmission bandwidth is required. Hence, networks with large amounts of bandwidth are naturally required to provide the infrastructure to handle tremendous amount of multimedia data such as voice, data, video, and images. Fiber optic communication systems play an important role in handling a variety of information to be transferred across networks in response to a user request. Telecommunications networks are generally classified into three different tiers, as shown in Fig. 13.1. An interexchange network consists of long-haul transmission links and inner core nodes that interconnect cities. A local-exchange network interconnects a carrier’s central offices through metropolitan links. An access network links a central office to the customer’s premises. Technologies for increasing transmission capacity beyond the terabit per second level will be the key to carrying higher volumes of information traffic between inner core nodes in interexchange networks. As for the functional features of the core node, the combination of optical cross-connects and Internet protocol (IP) routers is being discussed, and it is known as generalized multiprotocol label switching (GMPLS). GMPLS technologies are expected to handle IP data traffic effectively. Focusing on access networks, technologies for achieving fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) are the key to providing various kinds of advanced services in conjunction with computer use and video delivery. In the following sections, we describe recent advances in system and component technologies for fiber optic communication with respect to interexchange networks and access networks.
Online access to SPIE eBooks is limited to subscribing institutions.