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The fiber optics technology and industry are at a crossroad. Major marketplace and technology decisions are being made that will shape the information-age infrastructure and our daily lives within it. In the past year we have seen the biggest communication deal ever, the merger of Bell Atlantic and TCI, not done, and a major weekly news magazine, Newsweek, has started a “cyberscope” gossip column. The battles between fiber and coax in the Broadband Network seem to be at a standstill, resulting in a hybrid diet of fiber-coax being the flavor of the year. Through all of this, technology is pushing the boundaries. Optical amplifiers have made significant commercial inroads, optical networks is becoming a major topic at this conference. High-speed transmission is now measured in 100 Gbit/s over hundreds of kilometers.

© 1995 Optical Society of America

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