Submarine optical communication systems use branching units to connect branches of a cable to a main cable trunk. Typically, optic fibers from the trunk are branched to one of two branches, while inter-branch communication is nil. This disclosure describes an architecture for an optical branching unit that enables simultaneous inter-branch and trunk-branch connectivity. Connectivity between the trunks and branches is established using optical switches within the branching unit. The techniques enable greater and more effective use of expensive network infrastructure such as submarine optic fibers and optical branching units.

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Creative Commons License
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