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Fiber-Optic Communication Networks

  1. Vishal Anand1,
  2. Xiaojun Cao2,
  3. Sami Sheeshia3,
  4. Chunsheng Xin4,
  5. Chunming Qiao5

Published Online: 15 SEP 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9780470050118.ecse284

Wiley Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering

Wiley Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering

How to Cite

Anand, V., Cao, X., Sheeshia, S., Xin, C. and Qiao, C. 2008. Fiber-Optic Communication Networks. Wiley Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering. 1–8.

Author Information

  1. 1

    The College at Brockport—State University of New York, Brockport, New York

  2. 2

    Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia

  3. 3

    American University of Science and Technology, Beirut, Lebanon

  4. 4

    Norfolk State University, Norfolk, North Carolina

  5. 5

    SUNY Buffalo, Buffalo, New York

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2008


The tremendous growth of the Internet and the World Wide Web, both in the number of users (human enabled and communications-enabled devices) as well as the amount of time and thus the bandwidth consumed by each user, has fueled the demand for enhanced and superior telecommunication networks. Internet traffic continues to grow vigorously, as it has done in the past 11 years. Optical networks offer the promise to satisfy the relentless need for more capacity in the network in addition to providing a common infrastructure over which a variety of services can be delivered. Optical fibers offer much higher bandwidth than other transmission medium such as copper cables and also have lower error rates and other undesirable effects. The use of multiplexing techniques such as time-division multiplexing and wavelength-division multiplexing also help increase the transmission capacity of a fiber. In this article we discuss various existing and future technologies (e.g., wavelength routing, optical circuit switching, burst switching, or waveband switching etc) that enable optical networking and make them promising candidates for the backbone of the Internet. We also discuss issues relating to control and signaling in optical networks and how the Internet Protocol (IP) layer can be integrated with the wavelength-division multiplexed transport layer.


  • wavelength-division multiplexing;
  • time-division multiplexing;
  • wavelength-routed network;
  • lightpath;
  • waveband switching;
  • optical circuit switching;
  • optical burst switching