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To bridge the gap between the current practice of setting up expensive, dedicated, lightpath connections (i.e., Static topologies), and the distant future vision of inexpensive access to dynamically switched end-to-end lightpaths, the authors propose a medium term solution in the form of Edge-Reconfigurable Optical Networks (ERONs). An ERON is an overlay-control network created by installing readily available MEMS optical switches, and implementing a GMPLS control plane at sites interconnected by static lightpaths. The switches and control software are deployed at the edge of the network and operated by the organization-user (i.e., outside the network provider's control), hence the term "Edge-reconfigurable".
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