High-capacity telecommunications networks that use optical technologies and components to provide routing, grooming, and restoration. Optical networks use beams of light versus electrons to carry data. During the conversion process Optoelectronic switches are used to convert light signals received into electronic form, examine their network addressing, and then convert them back to optical signals.
This process, although reliable, still remains somewhat slow. More modern devices, called photonic switches, eliminate the conversion step, making them much faster.