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Optical fiber and optical-based networks have revolutionized the world of telecommunications, principally because of their extraordinary transmission capacity. They have replaced almost all the older media, such as copper, in the large backbone networks in the world, such as the telephone networks, and the Internet. Unfortunately, due to the dominance of copper wire in the telephone local loop plant, they have not been installed (to any significant extent) in residences. Nonetheless, optical fiber technology will continue to grow, and with the advent of WDM and powerless amplifiers, their presence will become commonplace in all high-speed networks.

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