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Definition: transparent network

An all-optical network from end to end that may exist in the future. When the electrical component is eliminated, such networks add their own complexity. For example, due to switching, the distance a light signal travels one day may be different the next time. This creates a different dispersion characteristic that has to be dealt with, because the lack of photonic to electrical conversion in the "optical in-electrical processing-optical out" (OEO) switches also eliminates the regeneration of the signal. See optical switch and OEO.