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SONET (an acronym for Synchronous Optical NETworking) is
|“||a standard for telecommunications transmissions over fiber optic cables. SONET is self-healing so that if a break occurs in the lines, it can use a back-up redundant ring to ensure that the transmission continues. SONET networks can transmit voice and data over optical networks.||”|
SONET allows transmission rates in the range of 51 Mbps (million bits per second) to 2.4 Gbps. Because SONET uses synchronous transmission, individual channels can be efficiently added or dropped at intermediary nodes without the use of back-to-back multiplexer. This allows the creation of ring architectures that can provide added reliability.
Moreover, SONET includes special data channels that facilitate various network management functions such as surveillance and rerouting from a central location. By installing high-capacity facilities to the customer’s premises and using the advanced network management features of these systems, additional or reconfigured channels can be provided to the customers quickly, and without an on-site visit by a technician. Through this "preprovisioning," a customer can even get additional capacity by directly accessing the network management system — a form of "bandwidth on demand."
- U.S. Telecommunications Services in European Markets, at 28. ("Overview" section)