Quantum Bridge Boosts Optical Options

Six makers of integrated-access devices have joined an alliance organized by optical-access vendor Quantum Bridge Communications Inc. in an effort to prove that optical networks aren't just for big users.

The new Quantum Bridge Access Alliance aims to show how service providers can employ fiber-based passive optical networks to fan out optical terminations to small businesses, multi-tenant buildings and residential customers.

The IAD vendors joining the alliance generally produce compact devices for the customer premise to concentrate voice and data onto a single access path. They include Accelerated Networks, Carrier Access Corp., Mariner Networks, Mariposa Technology, Sonoma Systems and Vina Technologies. Sonoma is currently in the process of being acquired by Nortel Networks.

The alliance was announced at the National Fiber Optics Engineering Conference in Denver this week, where the alliance members are demonstrating their interoperability with Quantum Bridge's system.

Quantum Bridge makes both an optical access switch for carrier POPs plus its own premises device. That device, the QB Intelligent Optical Terminal, supports T-1 and 10/100 Ethernet user connections. But the IAD alliance vendors generally have much more established carrier relationships than Quantum Bridge, which recently announced its first significant carrier contract with Advanced TelCom Group of Santa Rosa, Calif.

For their part, the Quantum Bridge alliance members may benefit by diversifying the access technologies to which their IADs connect. Some already have ties to copper-based DSL carriers, while Quantum Bridge's passive-optical system appeals to carriers who prefer to build fiber deep into neighborhoods and office parks but remove the active electronics from the last mile to reduce overall costs.

Information about the Quantum Bridge Access Alliance, including links to all the members, is available at: www.quantumbridge.com/alliance/index.html.

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More about Accelerated NetworksCarrier AccessMariner NetworksMariposaNortel NetworksOptical AccessQuantumQuantum Bridge CommunicationsSonoma SystemsTelcomVina Technologies

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