Today, fiber optic communications have been firmly established. We install networks both in the switched telephone and CATV networks with industry-standard methods, cables, and sometimes architecture. We have fiber to the home in large-scale implementations (FIOS, etc.). We regularly install fiber backbones in office buildings, in fact, sometimes even more than one providers network in a building. We extend our cellular network and back-haul almost exclusively on optical fiber.
If we are to believe the trade press, this is only the tip of the iceberg regarding what will happen. I do believe this. However, I question the pundits’ estimates regarding timing. I have watched as new technologies were declared “ready for primetime” and then did not live up to the hype. In many cases, the issues revolved around technological hurdles as well as financial ones. When the technologies finally did make economic sense, the large-scale installs occurred.