Update

British Telecommunications plc (BT—London) announced the settlement of its patent infringement litigation against Cincinnati Bell and Broadwing Communications. The litigation was brought in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware for infringement of two BT patents. The patents cover methods of making fiber-optic-cable installations by a technique known as the "blowing" of fiber-optic cable. The settlement includes payment to BT by Broadwing for a license under BT's patents. The remaining terms of the agreement are confidential.

FiberCore (Charlton, MA), manufacturer and global supplier of optical fiber and preform for the telecom/datacom markets, voluntarily filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts, Western Division, in November. The company's foreign and domestic operating fiber subsidiaries are not involved in the filing. FiberCore, which serves primarily as a holding company, intends to utilize the Chapter 11 process to restructure its balance sheet, while continuing to operate its subsidiaries in Germany and Brazil. In support of the restructuring effort, FiberCore is pursuing breach of contract claims and other potential recovery situations. Accordingly, FiberCore has instituted an adversarial proceeding in excess of $6 million against CommScope in bankruptcy court.

DMG Technologies (Industry, CA), a manufacturer of optical subassemblies and Adtech Technologies (Industry), designer of semiconductor-based optoelectronic devices, announced the formation of a partnership in which the two companies have pooled resources to establish Netchip, a Los Angeles-based optoelectronics semiconductor foundry. Netchip initially will produce DFB, Fabry-Perot, and CWDM lasers as well as avalanche photodiodes. While some of the production is designated for use in DMG's line of optical subassemblies, Netchip is already filling subcontract orders for other international laser manufacturers. The new company will utilize DMG's packaging, marketing, and distribution resources.

The Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF—Newport Beach, CA) ratified a technical specification that enables service providers to use a common service model for carrier class Ethernet service capabilities. The new standard, MEF Technical Specification—Ethernet Services Model Phase 1, is designed to assist service providers in modeling point-to-point and multipoint-to-multipoint Ethernet services by defining a standard framework of service attributes and parameters. Ratification of an Ethernet Services Definitions specification was expected late last year or early this year. The MEF consists of 70 member companies, including Ethernet service providers, incumbent local-exchange carriers, and network equipment vendors.

Component supplier TeraXion (Quebec City) reported that its ClearSpectrum dispersion compensation module based on fiber Bragg grating technology has successfully completed rigorous environmental tests that correspond with Telcordia GR-1209 and GR-1221 guidelines. These tests are required by system vendors to ensure reliability of passive components.

Triformix (Santa Rosa, CA), a precision-molded optical components company specializing in optical semiconductor packaging, announced it has closed an additional round of investment totaling $5.2 million. The oversubscribed second round brings the total investment in the company to over $10.4 million. A new investor, American River Ventures, led the third round with participation by Pacifica Fund, Selby Venture Partners, and SBV Venture Partners. The investment will enable Triformix to accelerate business development, build-out its manufacturing facilities, and penetrate new markets.

Verizon Communications (New York City) approved ADC's Passive Fiber Optic Component (PFOC) Test Lab (Shakopee, MN) under the Verizon Independent PFOC Test Lab Witnessing Program. ADC's lab is the first facility to receive certification to conduct in-house testing of fiber components and assemblies under this program. ADC partnered with Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and Verizon to achieve this approval. The lab allows ADC to test, with UL witnessing, any fiber-optic component to the Telcordia GR-326-CORE standard.

Guatemalan network operator Fibranet SA is using Stockholm-based optical transport equipment supplier Lumentis' Mentis platform to provide 2.5-Gbit/sec wavelengths over a 526-km regional network from Puerto Barrios in Guatemala, one of the landing points of the ARCOS network, to Guatemala City and San Salvador. The fiber links vary in distance from 96 to 160 km. The Mentis platform enables Fibranet to implement regional DWDM applications and local CWDM connections within the same system.

FastWeb (Milan, Italy), e.Biscom's telecom company, is installing a fiber-optic network in northeastern Italy that will cover the cities of Venice and Mestre and the lagoon islands. The three-year project will cost 60 million euros and use a 150-km duct system in Venice that e.Biscom received from Telecom Italia when it bought Telecom Italia's Socrates cable TV assets. During the initial rollout this year, FastWeb will pass 80,000 potential customers. FastWeb expects to connect 40% of its customers using FTTX technology and 60% using ADSL. Both access technologies allow FastWeb to offer bundled voice high-speed Internet access and TV services.

Centralschweizerische Kraftwerke (CKW), the regional power-utility company serving the Swiss Canton of Lucerne, is deploying the Cisco Systems (San Jose, CA) ONS 15300 series multiservice optical platforms to create a single network between power stations, remote offices, and its central headquarters. The network will carry switched Layer 2 Ethernet traffic between sites as well as consolidate traditional voice traffic over a single multiservice optical network using SDH as a transport protocol. The utility's existing network included legacy power generation equipment that used SDH protocols to feed real time information to central power management systems, which communicated back to headquarters using low-bit-rate connections over a separate voice network.

Deutsche Telekom AG selected optical Ethernet equipment company Atrica (Sunnyvale, CA) as one of the suppliers for its Global Seamless Network (GSN) project. The GSN project is a fully operational, multivendor interoperability demonstration of a carrier grade automatic switched transport network (ASTN). Being implemented in Berlin and Darmstadt, Germany, the GSN project demonstrates end-to-end Ethernet services by connecting two Atrica-based metro Ethernet networks across an SDH long-haul (LH) network. The carrier selected Atrica's A-8000 family of optical Ethernet core switches, its A-2000 family of optical Ethernet edge switches, and its service platform for Ethernet networks (ASPEN), an integrated service provisioning and management system. The Deutsche Telekom project is the first ASTN implementation with OIF UNI 1.0 signaling, which allows dynamic provisioning of Ethernet services across the LH network.

Alcatel (Paris) and OMMIC are collaborating on the transfer of Alcatel's advanced indium phosphide (InP) heterojunction bipolar transistor (HBT) technology to OMMIC's industrial cleanrooms at its facility in Limeil-Brévannes, France. This transfer will complete OMMIC's commercial portfolio of III-V technologies and will provide Alcatel's system designers with a qualified source to develop 40-Gbit/sec transmission systems for core networks. The InP HBT technology was developed by the Alcatel Research & Innovation Department. The InP HBT, which uses a double structure (DHBT) offers a high cutoff frequency (>200 GHz) with a breakdown voltage higher than 5 V. Using this technology, Alcatel has developed prototype chipsets at 40 Gbits/sec.

ASIP (Somerset, NJ) and ThreeFive Photonics BV, two pioneers in the development of advanced photonic ICs, completed a merger between the two companies. The combined company will be known as ASIP with ThreeFive operating in the Netherlands as a wholly owned subsidiary of ASIP. Last July, ThreeFive filed a "suspension of payments" request with a Dutch court. As a result of the merger with ASIP, the suspension of payments proceedings have been successfully concluded. Through this merger, ASIP customers will have access to an expanded product platform that includes DFBs, electro-absorption modulators, high-speed photodetectors, semiconductor optical amplifiers, and indium phosphide-based AWGs. ASIP can integrate these technologies using its patented, Asymmetric TwinGuide platform. Simultaneous with the merger, ThreeFive's existing investors, Atlas Venture and Gilde IT Fund, have made a combined $7.5-million investment in ASIP. The new investment completes ASIP's previously announced Series C round of financing, bringing the completed round to $23.5 million.

ADVA Optical Networking (Martinsried/Munich, Germany) announced New York metro carrier Con Edison Communications (CEC) as a customer for its DWDM Fiber Service Platform (FSP) 3000. A subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, which is also the parent company of electric and gas utility Consolidated Edison of New York, CEC has built an extensive fiber network of more than 380 route-mi utilizing primarily Con Edison's conduits. CEC extensively tested ADVA's FSP 3000 product for network interoperability up to speeds of 10 Gbits/sec and has now certified the product to support its PowerWave Wavelength Service. CEC already completed a first installation of FSP 3000 to support wavelength services for one of the top financial institutions in New York City.

NEC (Tokyo) completed construction of a submarine optical-cable network named TIS (Thailand-Indonesia-Singapore) Cable Network for a consortium formed by CAT Telecom Public Co. of Thailand, PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia Tbk of Indonesia, and Singapore Telecommunications of Singapore. The 1,100-km submarine network linking Songkhla (Thailand), Batam (Indonesia), and Changi (Singapore) can provide customers with enhanced transmission of international broadband traffic, using NEC's submarine repeatered and repeaterless DWDM technologies with an equipped capacity of 30 Gbits/sec upgradable to 320 Gbits/sec. The network is capable of handling traffic for about 3.84 million telephone circuits.

Koncent Communication, Shanghai Uniwave Technologies, Fujian Sandgy Optronics, and Fuzhou Microlattice Semiconductor agreed to merge together into a new company called Photop Technologies (Fuzhou, China). Photop Technologies will offer passive and active components as well as photonics manufacturing for international customers. The photonics manufacturing services will be supported by the more than 40,000 sq m of advanced facilities and over 1,000 highly skilled and dedicated employees.

MetroPhotonics (Ottawa, Ontario), developer of photonic ICs for access, metro, and long-haul networks, announced an exclusive partnership with Mitsubishi (Tokyo) to distribute MetroPhotonics' SurePath product portfolio in Japan and other regions. The SurePath portfolio includes three product lines: a 43-channel optical power monitor; 40-channel dynamic channel equalizer; and bidirectional four-channel variable multiplexer and variable demultiplexer. All these products are based on an indium phosphide platform.

Ciena (Linthicum, MD) announced a multiyear contract with Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel—Comcentre, Singapore), Singapore's dominant provider of telecommunications services, for Ciena's Online Edge multiservice access platform. The platform delivers service transparency through CWDM technology and service aggregation.

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