Even with the availability of technology that enables expansive networks, access and service, many U.S. businesses still cannot connect to metropolitan area fiber-optic networks. Although some businesses may be within a mile of fiber and the access it offers, many of them may have to wait until fiber-optic lines can be trenched to their buildings, due to costs and concerns regarding torn up streets and traffic.
LightPointe, a San Diego-based FSO provider, introduces a new technology -- Free Space Optics (FSO) -- that claims to eliminate the need for fiber-optic cable trenching while accelerating the delivery of optical communications in major cities.
LightPointe has connected more than 400 customers to fiber-optic networks via the air. The company's technology bypasses construction and regulatory issues affecting city carriers and residents.
The company's installation at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., demonstrates how carriers could offer bandwidth across an entire metro access network from a single fiber-optic strand. Through free space optics, Smithsonian Communications solved network bottleneck problems in the Washington Mall, where anti-trenching regulations and regulatory requirements were barriers. Starting with a 155 Mbps roof-to-window installment, the Smithsonian Institution has since installed another LightPointe roof-to-roof system and has a third system as a backup.
The expense of fiber trenching can be major, not to mention time-consuming, environmentally damaging and disruptive to businesses. According to LightPointe, cities across the country -- including San Francisco, San Diego and Washington, D.C. -- have enacted local regulations limiting carriers from digging up downtown streets after they have been resurfaced.
LightPointe's technology brings access to businesses in days -- not months or years -- and at a fraction of the cost to lay fiber. The technology is easily deployed in any geometry through windows and on rooftops.
According to a study conducted by the Strategis Group, FSO will become increasingly important in the next five years. The study estimates that global equipment revenues will catapult to approximately $2 billion in 2005, up from less than $100 million in 2000.
Founded in 1998, LightPointe designs and manufactures carrier-class optical transmission equipment using free-space optical technology that delivers high-speed communications solutions to service providers. For more information, visit www.lightpointe.com.