If you need to understand the state-of-the-art in optical communications, this is the most complete, up-to-date technical overview available. Over the past 15 years, optical fiber has revolutionized wide area communications -- making possible the Internet as we know it. Now a second fiber revolution is underway. Advanced technologies such as Wave Division Multiplexing (WDM) are adding even more capacity, and fiber is increasingly the media of choice in MANs, campuses, buildings, LANs -- soon, even homes. Now, discover the fundamental principles and components of optical communications, as well as the key interfaces and engineering challenges. Understand the roles of FDDI, Ethernet on Fiber, ESCON, Fibre Channel, SONET/SDH and ATM. Review key technical issues facing engineers as they extend fiber into new applications and markets -- and get an up-to-the-minute status report on WDM for LANs and MANs. Finally, preview the advanced R&D most likely to bear fruit: dark and spatial solitons, advanced fibers, plastic technologies, optical CDMA, TDM and packet networks, and more. Whether you're building optical systems or planning for them, this is the briefing you've been looking for.