Stephanie A. Weiss, Executive Editor
If long-haul telephony marked the infancy of fiber optic communications, video and data transfer will mark its maturity. Increasing reliability and decreasing prices are the clear indicators that optical networking components are moving past their awkward teen-age years.
Technical maturity has combined with billions of dollars of capital investment to enable a global explosion of applications that communications pioneers never dreamed possible. The applications rely on fiber optics' signature advantage over competitive technologies: bandwidth.
"The demand for bandwidth is almost insatiable," said Tony Thakur, vice president of engineering and technologies at Times Warner Telecom.