Lasers may spread Internet to rural areas

LASER BRINGS INTERNET

LASER BRINGS INTERNET

MELBOURNE (UPI) — Australian researchers say they are experimenting with lasers as a way to boost the reach of existing high-speed Internet service to make it accessable to large rural areas.

Ka Lun Lee and colleagues at the University of Melbourne say high-speed digital subscriber line or cable Internet service is too expensive to use in rural areas, since they require extensive networks of equipment and lines. Other technologies, such as satellite and fixed wireless, offer wider coverage but are often unreliable and expensive.

amplify the signal

amplify the signal

The researchers found gigabit passive optical networks provide the lowest cost at higher bitrates. But Lee said the reach of that technology into rural areas is limited by the loss in signal strength along the optical fibre, with each line only capable of radiating approximately 19 miles from a central office.

To boost that reach, Lee and his team use a device called a ‘Raman amplifier’. Installed in the central office of a network provider, the high-powered laser feeds the optical signals that carry information as it heads out over a fibre. That, said Lee, increases the power and reach of the signal by a factor of nearly 10 times.

fibre optic cable

fibre optic cable

The scientists will present their research shortly in San Diego during the Optical Fibre Communication Conference and Exposition/National Fibre Optic Engineers Conference.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

This news arrived on: 03/17/2009

Sourced and Published by Herny Sapiecha 24th March 2009

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