The present writer became aware in late 1965 of the studies then being pursued by K C Kao at STL. A parallel interest (1, 2, 3) in high purity crystalline dielectric materials led (10) to a critical evaluation of the high-purity glass problem and to the conclusion that low-loss optical fibres could be produced. A PO target loss of less than 20 dB/km was set early in 1966 and quoted to all interested parties, which included Corning Glass through their UK associate Electrosil. A Ministry of Technology contract was set up with Sheffield University and PO contracts were let during 1967 with British Titan Products Company, with STL and with Barr and Stroud Ltd.

© 1977 Optical Society of America

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