Covering past, present and future transport networks using three layered planes written by experts in the field.
Targeted at both practitioners and academics as a single source to get an understanding of how transport networks are built and operated
Explains technologies enabling the next generation transport networks
Are transport networks important? To society? To communications engineering as a field? What about the "fiber glut"? Isn't bandwidth already essentially abundant and free? Despite these and other popular misconceptions, metropolitan, national and international fiber-optic based transport networks are actually one of the engineering marvels of 20th century and have become fundamental infrastructure, crucial to current and future economies and societies. Like many basic civil infrastructures, such as water, roads, power, public health, such engineered systems are almostinvisible to the layperson, especially when they work nearly perfectly. But major and unexpectedly severe economic, personal, and societal impacts arise if these systems are removed even temporarily. Like these other basic infrastructures, the fiber optic transport network is now of fundamental importance to our economy, lifestyles, education, entertainment, finance and so on. Advances in computing, wireless, mobility, multi-media, HDTV, the Internet, all come to a halt if it were not for the capabilities of the underlying transport network on which they all ride. The public sometimes asks "What about wireless and cell phones, with them we don't need fiber," but this is based only on technical unawareness that every cell-phone call relies on fiber optic transport for trunking between switches and base stations to complete the calls. Similarly, every DSL and cable modem user of high speed Internet access is also a user of the fiber transport backbone. These "access" technologies, to which we can add phone and bank ATM machines, are best known to us all as users because it is these systems that are "in our face." But all of them rely on a single, ubiquitous, relatively unseen transport network operating behind the scenes.