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 Thursday, April 09, 2009

ITU-T has published a Guide on the use of the ITU-T Recommendations related to Optical Technology. Currently available in PDF form here it is expected printed versions will be made available shortly. The publication of the guide is - in part - to meet the requirements of WTSA-08 Resolution 44 - Bridging the standardization gap between developing and developed countries.

The guide starts with a short but interesting history of optical technology noting that the capacity of optical systems has jumped by a factor of more than 10,000 over a period of 20 years. In the same time it also notes that the applications of optical technology have progressively moved from short distance links (a few tens of km) to very long distance links in backbone networks, completely replacing traditional copper cabling. In the last few years it charts the arrival of optical technology in access networks.

The practical part of the guide contains a functional grouping of Study Group 15 Recommendations on optical technology e.g. optical fibres and cables, physical optical interfaces, optical fibre submarine cable systems. An introduction to each category with more than one Recommendation outlines the subjects which are common to that category. For each Recommendation there is a short description of the purpose, the content and, in many cases, the evolution of the content in subsequent versions of Recommendations. There are also cross-references to other related Recommendations.

The main purpose of this Guide is to give to developing countries improved capability in the application of standards. It is also seen as benefiting the wider telecommunication industry, particularly manufacturers and operators, which could benefit from the greater involvement of developing countries in the making and application of standards. Experts also point out that the value of the guide could to a wider group of manufacturers and operators than those directly involved in optical technologies.

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