Thursday, January 24, 2008

Optical home nets?

That’s what the man said. Admittedly the man was Bob Whitman whose job is to develop new business opportunities for Corning, a leading maker of fibre optical cables. And admittedly it was a minor side point, heavily qualified, as part of a presentation focused on fibre-to-the home (FTTH) networks which are what really have Bob excited these days.

But that’s what the man said. And I repeat: “Until recently we haven’t even considered an in-home market for fibre, but we are beginning to think about it now,” he said.

I wrote on Monday that chip makers are saying the next-generation of systems that terminate a FTTH network will be integrated with residential gateways, making them a sort of Trojan Horse for optical in the home. However, those systems expect to link to copper and wireless home nets.

For ten years home nets have been living under the dictate “no new wires.” I don’t expect the Corning folks to get any reprieve from that guidance until there is such salivating demand for an application so high in bandwidth that no cleaver modulation over wireless, copper or even coax can cost effectively meet it.

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