In the past 22 years, We have assisted hundreds of customers with their network design, planning, and associated fibre management needs. These networks have ranged from the booming CATV HFC days of the mid-90's through fibre exhaust scenarios of the telcos to the gargantuan bandwidth needs of the various FTTH deployment strategies. One of the constants in all of them has been the consideration of link loss budget planning: How far out can I get with my current optical power before I have to terminate or amplify? I have always been amazed that more often than not, the first answer to distance limitation is to plop in more optical power in the way of EDFA's, transmitters, and amplifiers. Optical transmission and having the power to get it where you want it to go can be an expensive affair. However, boosting power is not the only way to gain distance.
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