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Irish Gov't Invests In Color-Coded Fiber Optics

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the can-envy-without-wanting dept.

Networking 129

c0mpliant writes "The Irish government has invested a further €5 million, after already having invested €5 million one year ago, in a new system of fiber optics which heralds an era of virtualization of fiber networks, using color coding to enable multiple fiber providers to serve businesses and homes, often on a single strand of fiber. The technology, which has already sparked interest from companies such as BT and IBM, is already in its first phase and boasts an impressive 2.5 terabytes capacity, double the capacity of the London phone system. The company behind the technology, Intune Technology, is comprised of a group of ex-UCD photonics researchers and has been around since 1999 and are based in Dublin. The project is set to be completed by 2020."

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5 millions for color coding? (2, Funny)

VincenzoRomano (881055) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924054)

They are going to be quite interesting colours, indeed. Fashionable, I presume.

Re:5 millions for color coding? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32924424)

Ireland is soon going to be a THIRD WORLD COUNTRY, due to the massive, unwanted invasion of millions of THIRD WORLD PEOPLE.

THIRD WORLD PEOPLE = THIRD WORLD COUNTRY.

Please remember to mod this down as 'trolling', we can't have people discussing minor matters like the complete destruction of European civilisation, can we? I mean, your delicate 'holier than thou' sensibilities are far more important than what's actually happening to your country.

Re:5 millions for color coding? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32924734)

Ireland is soon going to be a THIRD WORLD COUNTRY......

Let's see......pissing in the kitchen sink, fucking sheep and blowing each other up. Sounds like Ireland hit 3rd world status 100 years ago.

Re:5 millions for color coding? (1)

JunkmanUK (909293) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924708)

Well, that and the first €5m leave them needing only another €6.7m to supply a full truecolour selection.

2.5 terabytes capacity? (4, Insightful)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924060)

The technology, which has already sparked interest from companies such as BT and IBM, is already in its first phase and boasts an impressive 2.5 terabytes capacity, double the capacity of the London phone system.

Meh, my hard drive can store almost that much already.

Re:2.5 terabytes capacity? (3, Funny)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924084)

The technology, which has already sparked interest from companies such as BT and IBM, is already in its first phase and boasts an impressive 2.5 terabytes capacity, double the capacity of the London phone system.

Meh, my hard drive can store almost that much already.

Indeed

All you need now is a pigeon to send the data.

Eat that, you drunk handless dancers.

Re:2.5 terabytes capacity? (1)

prionic6 (858109) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924162)

double the capacity of the London phone system.

How much is it in Libraries of Congress?

Re:2.5 terabytes capacity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32924428)

That's like what.... a days worth of porn? Ooh, what colors will be dedicate to that? System going down in 3 2 1..

Re:2.5 terabytes capacity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32924774)

The technology, which has already sparked interest from companies such as BT and IBM, is already in its first phase and boasts an impressive 2.5 terabytes capacity, double the capacity of the London phone system.

Meh, my hard drive can store almost that much already.

You're kidding right? Obviously the writer meant that there is 2.5TB/second capacity. We are not talking about storage, we are talking about bandwidth. No one has 2.5TB/second bandwidth in use right now.

Re:2.5 terabytes capacity? (1)

JayJay.br (206867) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924968)

The technology, which has already sparked interest from companies such as BT and IBM, is already in its first phase and boasts an impressive 2.5 terabytes capacity, double the capacity of the London phone system.

Meh, my hard drive can store almost that much already.

You're kidding right? Obviously the writer meant that there is 2.5TB/second capacity. We are not talking about storage, we are talking about bandwidth. No one has 2.5TB/second bandwidth in use right now.

He most certainly is. But the summary does not say TB/s, just Terabytes. One would expect a "nerd news" website to watch out for this kind of mistake.

But then again, typos, dupes, slashvertisements, and daily "not news", who am I kidding...

Re:2.5 terabytes capacity? (2, Interesting)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 4 years ago | (#32925098)

Assuming those 3 loops in the picture are 300 km per east-west leg (the max width of Ireland is 280km) including the north-south parts of the loop, the total fiber length is 6 * 300km = 1800km = 1800000m. The speed of light in fiber is approximately 200e6 m/s vs. 300e6 m/s for a vacuum. That makes the total fiber 'length' about 9ms. At 2.5 TB/s, all of the fiber only contains about 22.5GB at any one instant.

About time (3, Interesting)

jaggeh (1485669) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924066)

It really is about time the irish government invested in improving connectivity. we are so far behind the average we may aswell be hand delivering packets.

Maybe now i can get an affordable internet connection.

Re:About time (1)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924104)

Unfortunately, no. That would require investing in fiber to the home in the last mile, which requires a great deal more money than a paltry 5 million, and which incumbents will do everything they can to prevent from happening. At least until the copper lines degrade to complete uselessness, which won't be for a few more decades.

Re:About time (1)

Kentaree (1078787) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924446)

LTE rollouts likely in the next year. I know it's no substitute for a proper wired connection, but it's a damn sight better than what's available in most places here at the moment.

Re:About time (1)

RivenAleem (1590553) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924482)

UPC are in the process of rolling out fiber across Dublin. The time-lines are similar to Blizzard expansions (soon) but last I heard they were doing Dun Laoghaire. I recently got UPC TV into my gaff, and it came with one of them new-fangled wall connections with TV and fiber internet outputs. I had called them about a year ago when I moved to the area asking about internet (ultimately went went with BT (now vodafone)) but at the time they said my area was on the list but they didn't know when. Hopefully that time is coming soon.

Re:About time (0, Redundant)

rawler (1005089) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924494)

Why hand-carry when you can just use the protocols of pigeon-carried-ip?

Good throughput, albeit a bit high in packet-loss and poor latency.

http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc2549.html [faqs.org]

One Word: WOW !! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32924078)

Fuckin Amazin !!

Whodathunk? Color coding fibers! Fuck-in amazing. God, those Irish are a lot smarter than the Scotch, which by the way I'M FUCKING DRINKIN NOW !! If I had Irish Whiskey instead, I'd be WAY SMARTER and could have color coded my vomit !! Yumm! Don't you love the smell of vomit in the morning?

Re:One Word: WOW !! (3, Funny)

jaggeh (1485669) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924112)

Whiskey was invented to prevent the irish from ruling the world

Re:One Word: WOW !! (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924194)

Whiskey was invented to prevent the irish from ruling the world

What about Sake? Preventing the Japanese from doing the same?

Re:One Word: WOW !! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32924212)

oh for God's Sake...

Re:One Word: WOW !! (1)

ceraphis (1611217) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924238)

I would give everything i own for a little bit more.

Stop giving everything for a drop of whiskey and maybe you irish can get started on that world domination business.

Re:One Word: WOW !! (3, Funny)

RivenAleem (1590553) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924354)

We've seen your world, yer welcome to it.

Re:One Word: WOW !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32925010)

Feck ye!

Re:One Word: WOW !! (1)

dov_0 (1438253) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924432)

The Jack Daniels is finally starting to work for the Americans too!

Re:One Word: WOW !! (1)

DeWinterZero (1757754) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924442)

We conquered a large portion of the world fueled on whiskey but when we left, the empire collapsed. :)

Terminology (5, Insightful)

fridaynightsmoke (1589903) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924092)

I assume that by 'colour coding' what the summary actually means is Frequency Division Multiplexing, which isn't exactly new.

Reading TFA it looks to me like a situation of "we've 'invented' this amazing technology, give us money". That may be unfair I admit. What IS interesting is the idea of the fibre being shared by competing telcos. Has that been done before?

Re:Terminology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32924118)

it would be nice if the same principle (sharing the same medium) could be applied to, say, cell phone towers. Wouldn't it be nice if all the towers were owned by (a number of) companies or maybe the government. They get money from the telephone service providers, who rent the traffic on those towers according to volume used. Those providers would get an SSID on the whole spectrum available, which basically means that any handset would work for any provider, and everyone would have the same reception.

It would also mean, that telephone service providers would have to compete on services, which would also benefit the consumer.

I don't particularly see a downside to this proposal, except maybe a lot of administration for the cell tower owners. Any thoughts?

Re:Terminology (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32924182)

Any thoughts?

Only one: never going to happen.

Major telco providers would lobby the hell out of politicians to prevent it. They don't want more competition. Plus they want to protect their investments into existing towers.

It's quaint how you think anybody cares about benefits of consumers.

Re:Terminology (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32924202)

You sound like a dirty commie socialist to me!

Don't you know that the market will sort everything out and that companies need to compete fiercely with each other, jealously guarding their secrets and infrastructure rather than this wussy "sharing" and "co-operating" to benefit the consumer in the way you suggest? ;-)

Re:Terminology (3, Informative)

fridaynightsmoke (1589903) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924256)

Already happens in the UK. Multiple providers working off one cell tower is very common.
Also common is 'virtual' cell networks, where the consumer-facing provider rents cell capacity from an established telco as you suggest. Examples of this are Tesco Mobile and Virgin Mobile, neither of which own or operate any infrastructure, instead piggybacking off other networks and offering their own pricing and service structure.

Re:Terminology (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924314)

I'm not sure if it's still the case, but it also used to be common for the towers to be owned independently of the networks. Someone would get planning permission and build a tower, then rent it out to one or more networks to increase their coverage. If people were a little bit more sensible, they might consider doing this as a cooperative - build a tower near the village and rent it out, making cheap service a condition.

Re:Terminology (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924396)

So you would prevent me from starting up a new company and setting up my own towers then, in your 'government is best' world?

If a company spends money to build infrastructure, as long as public funds were not involved, this company has the right to use that infrastructure to compete with others. If public funds were involved, then government can dictate some of the rules and probably insist that the towers are made accessible to some competition at least.

Exclusive licenses to spectrum (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32925062)

So you would prevent me from starting up a new company and setting up my own towers then, in your 'government is best' world?

The U.S. government already does this once the incumbents have bought up all the spectrum.

Re:Terminology (2, Funny)

Bugamn (1769722) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924138)

Ah, I thought it was about painting red the wire that I should cut.

Re:Terminology (1)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924166)

What IS interesting is the idea of the fibre being shared by competing telcos. Has that been done before?

All the time. On pretty much any major civil engineering project where you have are going to have large scale free wireless (airports, ports and other large commercial buildings) the normal model would be for the developer to install a fibre optic network then offer to lease bandwidth to the wireless service providers at a small price. That usually results in telcos sharing the same multi-core fibre to link their APs to their backhaul hardware, albeit on different physical pairs, but it's not unheard of for them to be on separate modulations going down the same pair either.

I'm currently involved with three MAJOR projects that are going down the latter route, and it's becoming increasingly common to share pairs between third parties and segregate the traffic at layer 2 or even layer 3. There's that much bandwidth available on fibre these days it's kind of stupid running dozens of pairs for each stakeholder when you can likely put all of the low-bandwidth traffic down just one pair.

Re:Terminology (5, Informative)

pehrs (690959) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924178)

What IS interesting is the idea of the fibre being shared by competing telcos. Has that been done before?

Yes, it has. Selling wavelengths in dark fiber is very common, and companies frequently buy part of lines from eachother. Submarine cables are frequently owned by several companies.

On a level closer to the customer there exists a (in Sweden) functional business model where a company owns the line to the customer and creates a market where different ISP's can provide services to the customer. OpenNet is one of more well known providers using this business model in Sweden.

Re:Terminology (1)

Xarius (691264) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924580)

This is pretty much how the ADSL market works in the UK. BT own almost all of the infrastructure and lease lines to people. Any ISP is free to offer ADSL internet over these lines.

Re:Terminology (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924682)

You have 4 options in the UK

Copper - almost always owned by BT, whoever you buy the service from

      Local loop unbundled ISP - Has their own equipment at the exchange and delivers over the same copper ...(rare)

Cable - almost always Virgin Media (they bought all the amalgamated Cable operators ...)

Satellite - NB Sky (The only satellite broadcaster based in the UK) offer broadband ... over Copper using BT's infrastructure

Re:Terminology (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#32925088)

>>>(in Sweden) functional business model where a company owns the line to the customer and creates a market where different ISP's can provide services to the customer.
>>>

So what happens when you have a major company (like Comcast, Cox, or other cable company) that wants to lease the whole line from 10 megahertz upto 10,000 megahertz to supply their TV, internet, and on-demand services? Where does that leave room for any competing companies?

Re:Terminology (1)

grumling (94709) | more than 4 years ago | (#32925412)

Fiber to the premises is almost always an "all or nothing" service. This MAY be why this story is so interesting, that someone is leasing wavelengths to a building. But from the very sketchy info given it sounds more like a typical MAN with updated hardware. They didn't say anything that indicated they were providing last mile termination to this network, only backbone services.

This article from Ars Technica [arstechnica.com] gives a great break down of the costs associated with building out a 100% fiber network (FTTH) and is also a darn interesting read, if you're into that sort of thing. The basic summary is that it is nearly impossible to compete with infrastructure that's already paid for and has cashflow. That's what Verizon is finding out with FIOS: even though the maintenance costs are the same (if not cheaper), even with slightly higher margins, it's nearly impossible in today's capital markets to raise enough funding for a new network.

Re:Terminology (1)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924210)

I briefly worked for Lucent in the late 90's and remember hearing about this during some watercooler talk. IIRC this came from Bell Labs... namesake of Alexander Graham Bell... a Scot.

Re:Terminology (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924448)

Yeah, their "innovation" looks oddly like a network device that uses existing techniques; but asserts itself to have slightly more robust integrated VLAN-esque features.

I'm not really in the market for fiber stuff on the high end, so I don't know if people are being shafted by the incumbent vendors and forced to buy more Us of expensive boxes to get this featureset; but their innovation doesn't sound like it is on the optics side...

Re:Terminology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32924546)

FDM, really? Wouldn't you be using CWDM or DWDM (Course/Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing) be the right choice with fiber? After all, under a DWDM scheme, you could effectively give each provider what they could consider their own fiber. But you're not going to get that done for million euro, though.

Re:Terminology (2, Interesting)

Guy Harris (3803) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924610)

FDM, really? Wouldn't you be using CWDM or DWDM (Course/Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing) be the right choice with fiber?

Frequency-division multiplexing and wavelength-division multiplexing are the same thing, given that wavelength = speed / frequency.

Re:Terminology (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924562)

Yes... but its more like 1 telco rents a pair or fiber from another. Theres all sorts of shenanigans that go on as well. The owner of the pair can do things like have 1000ft of coiled copper wire spliced in inside their remote to make data speeds lower or just "accidentally" unplugging one of the competing companies pair or fiber. I can't imagine all the sorts of stuff they could pull if they are actually inside the the same strand as you.

Re:Terminology (1)

grumling (94709) | more than 4 years ago | (#32925308)

We lease several wavelengths from Level 3 for parts of our backbone. I don't know if any others are in use on the fiber, but that's not our concern, and we hand off in a communications hut out in the middle of nowhere.

im Irish (3, Insightful)

ionix5891 (1228718) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924094)

and quite happy about this

but people here (mostly USasians :D) need to know that Ireland had the most expensive bank bailout in world per head of population, almost 10x your mess
and probably the most incompetent and corrupt government in western world, who are now running a deficit of 20% of GDP which would make the Greeks look good

and we will be paying for this for many generations :(

this is a coloured lining on a gray cloud :(

Re:im Irish (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32924192)

this is a coloured lining on a gray cloud :(

Can you do something about your gov.?
If yes, stop venting the frustration and do it.
If no, seems to me you have an acute attack of hypo-alcoholemia; your choice between Tyrconnell and Guinness to get rid of it, may St Patrick bless you.

Re:im Irish (3, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924456)

They've really been putting the "fail" in "Fianna Fáil", eh?

Re:im Irish (1)

cpscotti (1032676) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924662)

What are you saying? Earlier this year when I was in Dublin everybody was in parties and drinking a lot.. they seemed happy.

After all, you guys make GUINNESS! You should be rich! Flaming geniuses!

Re:im Irish (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924718)

Next time the potato crops go wrong I guess we'll see a lot of Irish immigrating to the US.

2.5 TB Capacity? (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32924110)

Capacity? What about bandwidth? Can I store 2.5TB of data in this thing?

Re:2.5 TB Capacity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32924152)

Yup, you just need a fiber loop 300,000KM long.

Re:2.5 TB Capacity? (2, Funny)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924196)

Yes, but being 2.5 TB/sec it will be only for a second.

Re:2.5 TB Capacity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32924336)

epic math fail

FDM... (1)

mubes (115026) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924126)

The article is unclear, probably 'cos the journalist was. By 'colour coding' I'm pretty sure they mean Frequency Division Multiplexing which allows multiple wavelengths to be used on the same fibre. Obviously, since these are optical systems, this effectively means different colours (although often outside the range of human sight, and I don't advise you looking down one!) which is the way practitioners typically talk about it.

FDM has been in use for a long time as a way of hugely expanding the capacity of existing fibre infrastructure and became possible once we'd got light sources which could be tuned for a specific frequency.

Re:FDM... (1)

RichiH (749257) | more than 4 years ago | (#32925734)

None of the wavelengths used to transmit data (850nm, 1330nm, 1550nm) are visible.

Wavelength-division Multiplexing (3, Insightful)

pehrs (690959) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924132)

As far as I can tell this is just a standard implementation of the well known technology known as wavelength-division multiplexing. And calling it "color coding" makes me, as an Engineer, cringe. I am sure it's nice for Ireland to get a new core network, but how this is news for Slashdot is way beyond me...

Network virtualization is just used as a buzzword here. There is good work being done in the network virtualization field (See for example http://www.geni.net/ [geni.net] and http://www.fp7-federica.eu/ [fp7-federica.eu] but as far as I can tell these guys are not doing anything revolutionary.

Re:Wavelength-division Multiplexing (1)

rawler (1005089) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924504)

Buzzword is the keyword here. FTA:

“This is also a green technology – it is capable of carrying twice the volume of traffic that London phone systems carry.

Since when do throughput equal green?

Powerpoint with details (5, Informative)

2phar (137027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924140)

Here's a Presentation from April [www.ria.ie] with some detail. There's more to this than just regular WDM.

Re:Powerpoint with details (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32924342)

Powerpoint with details

surely you jest

Re:Powerpoint with details (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32925106)

I saw a presentation on this technology three years ago from a company called Matisse Networks. The problem at the time was that, while the lasers on the transponders could switch / re-tune amongst different wavelengths quickly enough, the amplifiers (needed to drive the composite signal over any appreciable distance, ~ >20km) couldn't keep up. Wonder if this is what they're focusing the new research on...

Re:Powerpoint with details (3, Interesting)

TychoCaine (531624) | more than 4 years ago | (#32925356)

It's is WDM, but instead of multiple low frequency lasers firing at once, they've got a single high frequency laser firing multiple wavelengths. They've taken the lead from other high-speed data busses like IDE and SCSI in transitioning from parallel to serial, as (I presume) cross-talk must become an issue as speeds rise.

Re:Powerpoint with details (1)

N1ck0 (803359) | more than 4 years ago | (#32925712)

Its a ROADM (Reconfigurable Optical Add Drop Multiplexor) doing DWDM. In otherwords high speed re-tunable lasers that can be configured for different wavelengths on the fly.

Now all these "colors" are all infrared...at intervals between 1500-1600nm. Its basically been in use on a wide scale for the past 5-7 years.

DWDM (2, Insightful)

beefstu01 (520880) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924160)

They could just talk to Cisco, Juniper, Nortel, or any other major network infra provider and get DWDM (read "extra colors") capability rolled into their switch. It would probably cost 5m Euro, but the tech already exists (and has since the mid 70's).

Re:DWDM (3, Interesting)

Khyber (864651) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924180)

The problem I see with this is the fact that certain wavelengths have certain interfering effects with other wavelengths. For example, 660-670nm radiation coupled with 720-740nm IR radiation causes some odd effects, which plants happen to utilize in photosynthesis, but I don't think we've ever tested such effects against the communication of data.

Re:DWDM (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924240)

Bad fashion, I know, but it is called the Emerson Effect. I am not sure if it applies to the blue/UV wavelengths, but I'm conducting horticultural research on that right now. We've already observed this in the red/IR spectrum, and on top of that we've seen that even exposing one leaf to such irradiation, even a lower leaf, causes the entire plant to react almost immediately.

Re:DWDM (1)

thogard (43403) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924452)

The last wholesale price of the lasers ran from about $2.50 to $1,400.00 depending on which color you needed. With plans like this, who gets the cheap lasers?

Re:DWDM (2, Informative)

pz (113803) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924768)

The problem I see with this is the fact that certain wavelengths have certain interfering effects with other wavelengths. For example, 660-670nm radiation coupled with 720-740nm IR radiation causes some odd effects, which plants happen to utilize in photosynthesis, but I don't think we've ever tested such effects against the communication of data.

What planet are you living on? Non-linear interaction between frequencies of EM communication has been studied for not just years, but decades. It's well understood. The subject is covered in any decent first-year Electrical Engineering course, and covered in much more detail in any decent course on Signals and Systems. Given linear media, supperposition applies, and there's no interaction. Given non-linear media, you get frequency mixing; with accurate knowledge of the non-linear characteristics, you have exact knowledge of the mixing. This isn't new Physics, it's Science that's so well understood it's become Engineering.

The parent post is a clear example of the need for -1, Naive.

Re:DWDM (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924474)

They could just talk to Cisco, Juniper, Nortel, or any other major network infra provider and get DWDM (read "extra colors") capability rolled into their switch.

It's a good thing that their Chief Scientist worked for twelve years at Nortel then, thought it's disappointing to find out that he is not [intunenetworks.com] an ex-UC Davis alumnus as the summary implies (He has a PhD in Photonics from the University of Ulster).

Re:DWDM (2, Informative)

Guy Harris (3803) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924658)

...it's disappointing to find out that he is not an ex-UC Davis alumnus as the summary implies

The summary speaks of "of a group of ex-UCD photonics researchers"; there's more than one UCD on the planet, and this one is probably University College Dublin [www.ucd.ie] .

The founders were from UCD, according to the "about Intune" page [intunenetworks.com] . ("Intune was founded in 1999 by two college graduates, John Dunne and Tom Farrell. They were performing research on tunable lasers and their network applications in University College Dublin, Ireland.")

(I hope, for UCD's sake, that their Web designers aren't ex-UCD. Not only do they appear to think that "company" is spelled "copmany", the site is a Flash-infested mess that requires you to pop up several layers of menus, by clicking on little + signs, for each member of the management team whose biography you want to see.)

Re:DWDM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32925244)

This is definitly different than the current DWDM technology being offered by Cisco (ONS 15454) or Nortel (now Ciena) (OME 6500). It's also different than the "colorless" ROADM technology being developed/offered by other MFG's (Tellabs, Fujitsu, etc..)

Do they mean WDM? (2, Informative)

3.14159265 (644043) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924172)

Intune Networks (...) has developed a technology that can enable a single strand of fibre to move from carrying one signal from one operator to carrying data from 80 telecoms and TV companies all at once."

Do they mean they have "invented" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wavelength-division_multiplexing [wikipedia.org] ? I'm puzzled.

Re:Do they mean WDM? (1)

JacksonG (82656) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924288)

Actually it appears to be Lambda switching/Optical Cross connects. Lucent sell similar gear and I think the tech was invented at Bell Labs back in the 90s.

Essentially you're switching the path to destination based on it's optical components rather than the encapsulated data - so you pick the destination node(s) by selecting the appropriate colour(s) on a tunable laser and blast the data out effectively switching the data at the optical level without decoding it to electrical signals.

It's very fast and very expensive so I'm not sure it really has a cost/benefit equation right now over using traditional kit with a passive DWDM solution for example.

J

Re:Do they mean WDM? (1)

RivenAleem (1590553) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924370)

It's Ireland. You know we invented the colour green? Now we can have green internet!

Questions from an optoelectronics geek (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924174)

What are the wavelengths we're talking about here? Are we working in purely visible range, or are we expanding out to low-range IR and UV? Are we going deeper than that over fiber optic? Can we even potentially push microwaves over fiber optic lines since it is just EM and we're using glass as a conduit? Would the conduit need to be bigger than pencil-sized to accommodate wavelengths of such size?

I could ask questions about this for days. Please give me some information that could cut that time down to a week or so.

Re:Questions from an optoelectronics geek (2, Informative)

cycoj (1010923) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924544)

Wavelengths, we're pretty much always talking near-infrared. The most often used wavelength range is the so-called C-band (1530–1565 nm). This is mainly because this is where Erbium-doped fibre amplifiers work, which are necessary to create very long links without repeaters (also this is where the absorption minimum of fibres is). Less common is the L-band 1565-1625 nm. There's also the O and E band this are AFAIK mainly legacy bands which were used at the beginning of fibre optic communications. (Dense) Wavelength division multiplexing WDM/DWDM systems have channel spacings of 100 or 50 GHz bandwidth, i.e. ~1 or 0.5 nm at 1550 nm (look up ITU grid for more info). Today they usually carry 10 Gb/s data, however more and more 40 Gb/s and the next standard is 100 Gb/s (this actually uses multi-level phase and amplitude coding). About the pushing microwaves over optic lines, that's not really desired, absorption is too high, you also need diameters on the scale of a wavelength (depending on your index contrast) and finally you would not gain much, the bandwidth of your channels depends on your carrier frequency at microwave wavelengths the carrrier frequency is a couple of 100 GHz max. so that's the full bandwidth you get. compared to the C-band which contains about 70 channels at 100 GHz bandwidth each. So really no point.

Re:Questions from an optoelectronics geek (1)

msauve (701917) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924570)

DWDM is standardized to operate on lambas between 1520 and 1570 nm. This is in the infrared, and is not visible. Fiber optical cables are optimized for these wavelengths, and that range can be optically amplified with EDFAs.

SPAMmers (and the likes) will love it! (1)

VincenzoRomano (881055) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924226)

So if you can send multiple beams down the FttO, then I can have multiple high speed, fiber stable providers in a single fiber link.

It's about time... (1)

Ecuador (740021) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924244)

they color coded those fiber optic cables! I only have 3 going in my AV receiver and all being black has given me some challenge. Imagine dozens of those each belonging to a different telco - how could they tell them apart without color coding?

PS. Yes, I figured out it was about FDM after reading the summary carefully, still the above were some of the thoughts reading the Title and skimming half the summary... I mean it is not like color-coding fiber optics does not have a specific meaning (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_coding_of_optical_fibers#Color_coding) and could also be used to describe FDM...

Why the government is excited... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32924250)

As far as I can remember (I cannot find an article to back this up) the big bonus of the technology is that it boosts wavelength usage efficiency to well above that of anything currently in use. I was talking to one of its staff a year ago and they stated that typically fibre wastes a large portion of available capacity, this tech reduces the % of loss greatly. I wish I could remember the details better or at least had paid more attention in my network topology classes.
anon

So, when can Sharks (1)

maroberts (15852) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924294)

go for a colour upgrade to their frickin head mounted lasers?

So, when do we get color coded streets ? (2, Interesting)

sakari (194257) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924300)

This is something I've been pondering for a while, why don't we have color coded streets in our biggest cities so that navigation would be easier for us Human Beings ? Human Beings understand colors and places, and can put those two together in their little memories (brains they call them) and can use that information to easily assosiate things with other things, thus remembering for example that Main Street is blue and takes me to the Green Zone, and throught that I have to take the pink road, turn left and then follow the yellow lines, and boom, I'm at the Market Zone.

Human Beings are so simple. I wish our Systems were too.

Re:So, when do we get color coded streets ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32924366)

Stop the clock! I've got the crystal.

Re:So, when do we get color coded streets ? (1)

jaggeh (1485669) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924776)

Congratulations, you are one step closer to the crystal dome and you will have an extra five seconds when we get there!

Re:So, when do we get color coded streets ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32924406)

Because our cities would look like a chameleon wearing a tartan and swinging a disco ball.
People would be too busy puking in the streets to get anything done.

Re:So, when do we get color coded streets ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32924450)

This is something I've been pondering for a while, why don't we have color coded streets in our biggest cities so that navigation would be easier for us Human Beings ?

Would this be in any relation to the reason for which not all the major cities have a Red light district?Quick, somebody grant me some money to research it. The outcome to be available in 2020 (same time like this FA).

Divisive (2, Funny)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924374)

Another thing for the Catholics & Prods to argue over. Who gets the green wires...

Re:Divisive (4, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924506)

Another thing for the Catholics & Prods to argue over. Who gets the green wires...

That's not the problem. The problem come when they try to lay an orange wire in a catholic street or a green one in a protestant one.

Re:Divisive (3, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924530)

Never mind the green wires, pity the uptimes of the poor bastards whose traffic goes over the black and tan ones...

Re:Divisive (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924694)

That's (mostly) northern Ireland ... different country ... ... Those Damn No nothing New York Canadians ....

Re:Divisive (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924856)

I knew that. I was just hoping no one else would ;-)

Re:Divisive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32925532)

They're all green wires, just 40 different shades of green.

Is comprised of? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32924458)

I don't understand... "is comprised of"? You mean "is composed of" right? I'm really fed up of seeing "comprised of" since it really demonstrates that the writer has no idea what the word "comprise" means.

Re:Is comprised of? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32924606)

You're right. It should be either "the company is composed of a group of researchers" or "the company comprises a group of researchers."

Mauve (0, Offtopic)

JustOK (667959) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924594)

Don't the mauve wires have more RAM?

Color Coded? (1)

headhot (137860) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924842)

You mean DWDM and CWDM? Thats been around for a decade. I was deploying it in DC in 2003.

Re:Color Coded? (1)

ctrl-alt-canc (977108) | more than 4 years ago | (#32925060)

Yes, but this works using different hues of green.

hmmm (4, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924960)

so the irish are asserting that there are financial benefits in adapting this prismatic fibre optic technology?

in other words, there is a pot of gold, at the end of the rainbow?

where did the irish get such an idea?

Re:hmmm (1)

RMH101 (636144) | more than 4 years ago | (#32925184)

Well played, sir.
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