CableLabs Toys with Coherent Optics

    Progress usually comes in small incremental steps, especially after a technology has been around for a while. The cable industry, however, seems to be toying with something that could, indeed, represent a breakthrough for its access networks.

    CableLabs, the industry’s research and development consortium, is looking at coherent optics as a tool for linking headends to end users. Coherent optics’ current use is in the long-haul networking sector.

    In non-coherent systems, lasers transmit data by switching on and off. Coherent systems use both amplitude and modulation and the separation between polarizations to transmit the data. This, according to Light Reading, drastically increases the amount of data that can be transmitted.

    Lab tests have achieved speeds of 256 gigabits per second (Gbps) on one wavelength and more than 2 terabits per second (Tbps) when eight wavelengths were used simultaneously.

    Big Players form IoT Security Group

    AT&T, Nokia, IBM, Symantec, Palo Alto Networks and Trustonic have formed The IoT Cyber Security Alliance.

    In the press release announcing the group, AT&T noted that attacks on Internet of Things (IoT) services hosted on its networks have increased 3,198 percent during the past three years. Some of that, of course, is because of the fast growth of the IoT itself. That fact makes the rise only slightly less concerning, however.

    The company also noted that 58 percent of companies it surveyed last year are not confident of the security of their IoT devices. Group members believe in protection at endpoints, in networks, in the cloud, at the application layer, and in the use of comprehensive threat analytics.

    Among the goals are research across verticals, attention to every critical layer of security, easing access to security, and exerting influence on security and policies.

    Angie Communications Seeks a Short Cut

    Startup Angie Communications is being creative. The company plans to bring multi-gigabit Ethernet to locales to which Google Fiber promised service, but ultimately cancelled, and 87 other markets.

    It will take a unique route to do this, according to an announcement made this week. Angie says it will use fiber deployed by other operators to business buildings for backhaul. Angie says that it has access to almost 10,000 on-net buildings, and that its model, which is based on cultivating relationships with the industrial players for years, will make quick deployment of 10 Gigabit per second (Gbps) “on a massive scale” possible.

    A tremendous amount of dark fiber is available in telecommunications networks. The plan, apparently, is to use this capacity and avoid the costly, time-consuming and – if Angie is to be believed – unnecessary task of laying in new fiber.

    CenturyLink 60 Percent Virtualized

    Carriers are trying to cut costs and increase efficiency by virtualizing as much of their infrastructure as possible. This week, CenturyLink CEO and Chairman Glen Post said during an investor call that the company has implemented software-defined networks and network functions virtualization (SDN and NFV) in 60 percent of its major points of presence (PoPs).

    Post told the investors that when the virtualization project is complete at the end of 2019, CenturyLink will save $200 million annually in capital expenditures and cut operational expenditure significantly. New revenue streams, such as network-on-demand and service offerings to businesses outside its footprint, will be made possible by virtualization.

    Grid 5G Tests in Germany

    Deutsche Telekom, Ericsson and Stromnetz Berlin, a distributor, are testing how 5G technology can be used in the energy sector. A field test will be conducted in Adlershof and in a Deutsche Telekom lab in Bonn, says RCR Wireless.

    Bruno Jacobfeuerborn, Deutsche Telekom’s CTO, said that 5G can be used to accommodate end-user requirements, provide maintenance of switch cycles and satisfy smart grid requirements. These tests are important because of the great levels of operational certainty and security that are necessary for anything that involves critical infrastructure.

    Carl Weinschenk covers telecom for IT Business Edge. He writes about wireless technology, disaster recovery/business continuity, cellular services, the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine communications and other emerging technologies and platforms. He also covers net neutrality and related regulatory issues. Weinschenk has written about the phone companies, cable operators and related companies for decades and is senior editor of Broadband Technology Report. He can be reached at and via twitter at @DailyMusicBrk.


    Carl Weinschenk
    Carl Weinschenk
    Carl Weinschenk Carl Weinschenk Carl Weinschenk is a long-time IT and telecom journalist. His coverage areas include the IoT, artificial intelligence, artificial intelligence, drones, 3D printing LTE and 5G, SDN, NFV, net neutrality, municipal broadband, unified communications and business continuity/disaster recovery. Weinschenk has written about wireless and phone companies, cable operators and their vendor ecosystems. He also has written about alternative energy and runs a website, The Daily Music Break, as a hobby.

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