Optical networks and the future of broadband services

Pedro Ferreira, William Lehr, Lee McKnight

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The evolution of broadband services will depend on the widespread deployment of optical networks. The deployment of such networks will, in turn, help drive increased demand for additional capacity. In this world, service providers will have a growing need to be able to flexibly adjust capacity to accommodate uncertain and growing demand. In this article, we present a cost model that highlights the advantages of new optical networking technologies such as Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) over traditional architectures for optical networks. This analysis highlights the increased flexibility and scalability of DWDM networks, which lowers the deployment costs of such networks in light of growing and uncertain demand. The DWDM architecture holds the promise of allowing the emergence of wavelength markets, where traffic could be switched between service provider networks at the optical layer (without the need for multiple costly and wasteful electronic/optical conversions). While the DWDM and Optical Cross-Connect (OxC) technologies provide a technical infrastructure for supporting wavelength markets, additional developments are also likely to be required. This paper also considers some of the impediments to the growth of wavelength markets, namely, the need for secondary markets and standardized contracts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)741-758
Number of pages18
JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
Issue number7
StatePublished - Sep 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Applied Psychology
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


Dive into the research topics of 'Optical networks and the future of broadband services'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this