Passive optical networks1,2 based on the use of passive optical branching elements avoid the need for remotely stationed electronics in the subscriber loop and provide a direct photonic path between customer and exchange which can be uprated via wavelength division multiplexing techniques to provide virtually unlimited future service growth. Ideas to date have often emphasized the future full coherent multichannel realizations of these networks with the perspective of providing a long-term successor to present-day switched star networks. Recent work,3,4 however, has highlighted the prospect of moving to passive networks at an earlier stage via the use of time division multiple access (TDMA) techniques and/or direct detection WDM.

© 1989 Optical Society of America

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