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ITU Approves Optical Fiber Standard
May 2004
GENEVA, May 18 -- The International Telecommunication Union (ITU)has approved a global standard for a new optical fiber optimized for coarse wavelength division multiplexing (CWDM) in metro networks.

The new standard, Recommendation G.656 (Characteristics of a Fiber and Cable with Non-Zero Dispersion for Wideband Optical Transport), permits easier deployment of coarse wavelength division multiplexing (CWDM) in metropolitan areas, and increases the capacity of fiber in dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) systems. Wave division multiplexing increases the data carrying capacity of an optical fiber by allowing simultaneous operation at more than one wavelength.

G.656 allows operators using CWDM to deploy systems without the need to compensate for chromatic dispersion, a phenomenon that at low levels counteracts distortion but at high levels can make a signal unusable. G.656 also means that at least 40 more channels can be added to DWDM systems.

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optical fiber
A thin filament of drawn or extruded glass or plastic having a central core and a cladding of lower index material to promote total internal reflection (TIR). It may be used singly to transmit pulsed optical signals (communications fiber) or in bundles to transmit light or images.  
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