"http://www.osa-jon.org/features/OAN_2005.html". Feature Issue on Optical Access Networks (OAN). We review the progress in optical wireless communication networks for first- and last-mile broadband access. The link budget is discussed. Modulation and coding are studied to deal with the atmospheric turbulence channel. Topics related to efficient topology design, survivable routing, and dynamic reconfiguration algorithms are discussed. It is shown that optical wireless communication networks have great potential to provide enough bandwidth for first-mile broadband applications. However, major challenges need to be overcome in pointing and acquisition, coding, and network design to make optical wireless networks more popular with customers.
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