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The Chappe Network: Enabling the Kilobyte Era in France

By Greg Smith, Service Provider Marketing Manager, Cisco

Chappe communications tower showing semaphore arms (near Saverne, France)

Today we take instant communications for granted and our latest Cisco Visual Networking Index predicts that we’ll soon reach the “Zettabyte Era” for global IP traffic (a zettabyte being 10^21 bytes). Recently I had an opportunity to see a bit of telecommunications history from what I’ll call the “Kilobyte Era”. While visiting a family I knew in Saverne, a small town outside of Strasbourg, France we toured a local castle (Castle Haut-Barr) with a view of the countryside. Besides the 12th century castle there was a (restored) tower from the original Paris-Strasbourg optical semaphore system, one of the first communications networks in the world. I’d read about this system but never actually seen it and my hosts were gracious enough to let me “geek out” on this bit of networking history.

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Upgrade to 100G/400G/1T Without Upgrading the Fiber Infrastructure

We talked before about how over 150 customers from 50 different network operators and enterprises met last month at Cisco’s campus in Richardson, Texas, to attend the Spring 2012 Packet Optical Networking Conference (PONC). Besides collaborating on best practices and future requirements in IP and optical solutions, attendees also had an opportunity to view Cisco’s extensive “brownfield” 100G DWDM demo setup. It consists of over 1000 km of fiber, with 10G services and shows how we can plug-n-play 100G services onto existing live systems. This is a critical requirement for customers who must maintain business continuity while still upgrading the capacity of the network. It’s also using the same technology we showed with EANTC that could go to Read More »

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