Posts about Fiber

You may or may not take your high-speed fiber connection for granted, depending on how much trouble it took to get it. If you look behind the curtain, local and long haul fiber optic connections are run in some pretty predictable places, with a few surprises thrown in for good measure. Knowing where and how your high speed connections are routed can provide insight both into the nature of the arcane business of rights-of-way and (more importantly) the ability to be aware of when and how service can be interrupted.
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Once upon a time (Well, actually several different times, depending on how you keep score), there was a fiber "glut" - an excess of fiber carrying capacity. Too much unlit capacity on long-haul routes back in the late 1990s lead to a 2001 market correction among service providers and equipment manufacturers buying into a myth of an exponentially growing Internet with infinite growth potential. I don't think we'll go through another fiber building boom anytime soon, but there are a lot of bits and pieces to indicate more glass will be put to work in long-haul and short haul uses in the years to come.
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There are many stories in business lore of companies failing because they tried to protect their legacy business against a new technology they could have implemented themselves. Probably the most emblematic example – and the one that will be used as a case study in business schools for many years to come – is Kodak. Kodak’s R&D invented and prototyped a digital camera back in 1975. The R&D guys didn’t know what to do with it, and the management only saw the risk to their film business and couldn’t conceptualize how users would relate to it (which, to be fair, wasn’t all that easy in pre-PC, pre-Internet days). My favorite part of that story is the comment in the technical description of the project:
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There was a lot of traffic at this year’s Ethernet Europe in London. The two-day conference and exhibition saw a high number of industry experts and a Carrier Ethernet debate that shifted away from hardware and technology to deployment scalability and service development.
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In a recent speech given to students at Erasmus University, Neelie Kroes issued a rallying call to Europe, imploring its citizens to build a new state, one founded on digital technology that can effectively drive society forward: lifting productivity, connecting people and improving daily life. Ms. Kroes wants us to leave the digital dark ages behind and create Europe 3.0.
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