Computer Weekly

AT&T trials FSO cheap optical link.(free space optics)(Brief Article)

Antony Adshead

AT&T is trialling laser optical networking which could give 100mbps bandwidth at a fraction of the cost of fixed optical networking.

The technology - known as free space optics (FSO)- costs up to 10 times less than fixed optical infrastructure and could be used to link company Lans in city centres, as a back-up system between business units, or as a connection into the public network.

It has attracted attention following the 11 September attacks as a cheap means of disaster recovery. In the wake of the attacks Merrill Lynch took the decision to maintain its FSO link as a back-up network.

Analyst Iain Stevenson of Ovum, said, "It is very much a niche application - it needs line of sight and is affected by weather. …

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