Traditional metro optical networks were designed to carry fixed-rate telephony and private line traffic in a reliable and resilient manner. Over the last decade, service providers have experienced tremendous growth in data services with the aggregate demand for data traffic now exceeding circuit-oriented traffic. As a result, service providers are challenged to bring their cost structure down so they can generate sustainable margins on competitive services that are typically priced lower than traditional private line services. Lowering the cost structure of data services involves a reduction in capital expenditure, but even more importantly, it necessitates a reduction in operational expenses as the cost of provisioning, maintaining and monitoring those services account for the majority of a carrier’s cost structure. Therefore, a scheme that fits the operational paradigm of the existing SONET/SDH transport network and that allows carriers to differentiate between various service types and allocate transport resources is clearly needed to enable both competitive price points and continued carrier profitability.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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