TIA seeks standard terminology for assessing supply

June 6, 2002
June 6, 2002 -- Report seeks to help assessment of optical network capacity

The Telecommunications Industry Association has proposed that the optical networking industry, analysts, the media and other industry observers settle on a standard terminology and framework for assessing the state of supply and demand in the industry.

In a white paper, Optical Network Capacity and Utilization: Clarifying Terms and Definitions, the association draws on the input of TIA member companies who are optical fiber vendors. The TIA's expectation is that the white paper will provide an informative starting point, from the perspective of manufacturers that supply the technology, which observers may use to discuss in a more informed manner how to assess optical network capacity and utilization.

The document examines four factors that impact demand, including type of network traffic (voice, private-line data or public Internet); whether the amount of network traffic could be characterized as average or peak; the level of bandwidth required for peak traffic, referred to as demand for working capacity; and the type of network: long haul, metropolitan area or local area.

The white paper defines supply as a dynamic relationship between the amount of fiber that has been deployed and the utilization of that fiber based on the supplied active capacity of the lit fiber, the percent of fiber lit and utilization of wavelength channel slots. The paper also provides a context for interpreting utilization rates across supplied active capacity, fiber and channel slot.

"TIA feels there is tremendous need to establish some common parameters for discussions on supply and demand in the fiber optics networking market that consist of identifying a key terminology and key data points that help to frame a discussion on the supply-and-demand balance in the optical networking industry," says Eric Nelson, vice president of global network market development for TIA. "Part one of this white paper is
the first step in that direction.

"The next, more critical exercise is widening the discussion with service providers and analysts who follow this closely, so that we can reach a consensus on the most rational, standard way to assess network capacity and utilization," Nelson continues. "If everyone agrees to make their assessments using a common framework with common data points, we feel this will go a long way toward clearing up some of the conflicting information that we see regarding the health of the optical networking industry."

For more information visit www.imcnetworks.com.

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