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Are We Ready for the Exabyte Tsunami?

ELGIN, Ill., Oct. 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The consensus of more than 30 telecom industry executives participating in an executive roundtable hosted by DSM is that today's broadband network infrastructure is not prepared for future bandwidth demands and that substantial performance enhancements and new standards are necessary to support the next generation of bandwidth-hungry applications.

Participants in the Designed for the Future Executive Roundtable - representing communications service providers, infrastructure vendors, fiber optic cable and optical fiber makers, industry association leaders, academics and media - addressed the ability of incumbent networks to support future bandwidth demand, what is and will be creating that demand, and the risks associated with not embracing industry standards. Designed for the Future was held Sept. 29th during the FTTH 2009 Conference in Houston, Texas.

"It is no secret that the network infrastructure in the U.S. is aging while applications are evolving beyond what the basic design network can ultimately support," said Rob Crowell, Vice President Fiber Optic Materials, DSM Desotech. "The question is 'How do we ensure the network is prepared to support rich applications, such as IPTV, which consumers are experimenting with today and will consume much more of in the future with minimal latency and disruption and less energy consumption?"

At the roundtable, Crowell set the stage by citing a report on bandwidth demand from the Cisco's Global Consumer Internet Traffic Forecast, which states that bandwidth demand will exceed 15 exabytes per month by 2011 and pass 30 exabytes per month by 2013. The group was charged with identifying the opportunities, obstacles and solutions to meeting that demand.

The roundtable concurred that optical fiber is the way forward to realizing true broadband potential. It was noted that increasing bandwidth demands will necessitate opening up new transmission windows in the L band, potentially up to 1625 nm, and that older-generation optical fiber running in many broadband networks will not be adequate to support those transmissions.

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