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The use of light to transmit information along a glass fibre was first proposed in 1966 in the UK. Now the technology has advanced to the point where connections could be provided to the home and business to carry an essentially unlimited number of services such as TV, facsimile, computing, as well as telephony. However, current regulatory practice could be seen as a barrier to developing this technology in the UK, with consequent adverse effects on the UK’s competitive position in opto-electronics.

This POSTnote describes the present and potential applications of optical fibres and examines issues arising from the current regulatory framework within which they and competing technologies operate.


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