An Optical Revolution may be Undermining Carrier Viability

Here is an abstract of a study I have just completed. Enjoy.

Optical Revolution Increases Obsolescence of Legacy Carrier Networks

Highly Efficient Layer One and Two Optical Networks Will Spell End of the Road for ATT, Sprint & MCI in Their Current Form

  Intelligent Acquisition Could Lead to Quick Write Offs of Obsolete Equipment
  & Result in Modernization of "Telco" Infrastructure

An examination of the infrastructure of the Leading optical research networks (SURFnet 6, CA*Net4, and TransLight) shows that we may well be headed towards optical networks owned, built, and operated by enterprises and other large entities that are sources of, and/or, sinks for data, with the public Internet and carrier backbone networks merely acting as inter-connecting vehicles for private bit carriage.

  We examine the emergence of new enterprise-owned and -operated networks. These will be composed of hybrid networks that, for certain Quality of Service and security-mandated applications set up lightpaths, when needed, and then tear them down. Best-effort Layer 3 IP services for email and web browsing will utilize a separate allocation of bandwidth elsewhere within the optical spectrum of physical glass. This new enterprise-owned optical network is likely to be one that could switch lightpaths back and forth on an as-needed basis sending payloads over dedicated lightpaths where appropriate and needed, while best-effort routing continues to function on its own over intranet or Internet routes, thus filling in the gaps between highly mission-critical and business-as-usual applications. For independent verification of our basic conclusions see Dark fiber: Businesses see the light.

For complete Introduction and Executive Summary and Table of contents see