Proceedings PaperEconomics Of Optical Fibre Transmission Systems
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Optical fibre as a telecommunication transmission medium has become one of the most significant developments so far of the digital era. A major contributory factor to the availability of optical fibre transmission systems has been the outstanding progress in the technology of manufacturing high quality glass fibre having relatively low attenuation and broad bandwidths. This and other achievements has enabled manufacturers in the United Kingdom to develop a range of optical fibre cables and transmission equipment for operation over short and long distances at the CCITT recommended digital hierarchical rates of 2, 8, 34 and 140Mbit/s which have been adopted by British Telecom (BT) for modernisation to an all digital transmission network. These optical fibre systems are now becoming increasingly price and performance competitive with conventional technology in many parts of telecommunications networks. In the British Telecom (BT) network the 140Mbit/s optical fibre systems are now economically competitive with equivalent systems on coaxial cable and microwave radio. The economics of 8 and 34Mbit/s systems are not yet sufficiently attractive, compared with 2Mbit/s digital line systems on pair type copper cables, for large scale use in rural and local distribution networks and are presently only justified on cost in and around large cities. As system costs decrease large applications are predicted particularly in support of future high speed data, cable television and visual information services.