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Nortel shows off fancy new fibre technology

Lots more money, not such a good explanation

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Nortel Networks has unveiled some new fibre technology which is claims as a breakthrough and will let it extract some tasty revenues. Demonstrating its Managed Wavelength Services at the National Fiber Optic Engineers Conference in the US, Nortel said it could now control bandwidth more efficiently - with corresponding positive effects on charging customers.

"It's all about delivering speed, reliability, quality and profitability to our customers," said president of Nortel's optical arm Don Smith - before launching into a confusing explanation as to how it worked. "And we can do this by selling hair-thin strands of fibre or individual colours of light."

ZDNet US seemed to think this meant it could now control every fibre optic, but (and we're no fibre experts here) we always figured this could be done anyway - you've got to have a light at the end of it, so controlling it is just a matter of an accurate system. What is more likely is that Nortel has worked out a more exact method of picking out different signals sent on the same line at the same time. Colours (just different wavelengths) would let you do just this. Unfortunately, we couldn't get anyone state-side to pick up the phone before press time.

Anyway, that aside, this system is good news. What it means it that extra capacity can be called up far more effectively and quicker than before - something that ISPs are going to be particularly happy about. Nortel's happy, customers are happy, everybody's happy. ®

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