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AFCS Forum chartered to advance fiber connectivity, switching

June 17, 2008 -- At NXTComm in Las Vegas, a host of service providers, optical switch vendors, network infrastructure providers and manufacturers announced their collaboration in the creation of the Advanced Fiber Connectivity and Switching (AFCS) Forum, a group focused on accelerating the adoption and deployment of two emerging technologies for remote fiber management.

The Forum's stated mission is "to facilitate knowledge sharing and cross-industry dialogues in an open environment to increase industry awareness of optical switching and advanced fiber connectivity solutions."

The Forum's charter participants include:

* Verizon (http://www.verizon.com/)
* Tyco Electronics (http://www.tycoelectronics.com/)
* Telect, Inc. (http://www.telect.com/)
* Telcordia Technologies, Inc. (http://www.telcordia.com/)
* Sumitomo Electric Lightwave (http://www.sumitomoelectric.com/)
* Polatis (http://www.polatis.com/)
* Ovum (http://www.ovum.com/)
* NTest, Inc. (http://www.ntestinc.com/)
* KDDI R&D Laboratories, Inc. (http://www.kddilabs.jp/)
* Glimmerglass (http://www.glimmerglass.com/)
* FiberZone Networks (http://www.fiberzone-networks.com/)
* Draka (http://www.draka.com/)
* CrossFiber (http://www.crossfiber.com/)
* Corning Cable Systems (www.corning.com/cablesystems)
* Calient Networks (http://www.calient.net/)
* Boston Applied Technologies, Inc. (http://www.bostonati.com/)
* AT&T (http://www.att.com/)
* Arcswitch (http://www.arcswitch.com/)
* ADC (http://www.adc.com/)

"Industry and region-wide, we've seen increased customer interest in bandwidth-intensive services, from voice over IP to high-definition TV," comments David Rapp, member of AFCS Forum's board of directors. "With today's service providers driven to optical fiber solutions to deliver these services, it's an opportune time for a coordinated effort to educate the industry on the best practices and applications of these technologies."

The AFCS Forum will initially study the application of physical-layer switching and management tools to perform the following tasks remotely: fiber provisioning, fiber protection and restoration, and fiber test, monitoring and troubleshooting. It will also work to resolve obstacles that stand in the way of remote fiber management technology deployments. This will include collaboration with industry standards bodies to identify needs for updated or new standards.

With fiber-optic networks enabling faster data transmissions, the Forum notes that many carriers are turning to optical switching technologies to keep up with growing bandwidth demands. Operators upgrading their networks to accommodate the heavy load of data and video traffic will need reliable fiber management systems to minimize the impact on customer service.

"The AFCS Forum gathers a diverse set of companies involved in the deployment of next-generation networks, from the manufacturers developing the necessary fiber network equipment to carriers planning their infrastructure upgrades," continues Rapp. "Our collective knowledge will allow us to promote the promising possibilities of fiber networks for everyone in the telecom value chain."




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