An Optical Delusion?

Web plumbing firms are investor darlings. Is this another bubble inflating?

By now the booms and busts of the Internet economy have taken on an almost seasonal aspect. Callow start-ups--initially apples in venture capitalists' eyes--become in a few short months rotten e-commerce or business-to-business fruit. Portals, community sites, e-commerce companies, business-to-business (B2B) verticals--all are Web sectors once hyped as the next big thing; all are Web sectors in which stock prices have gone off the cliff.

Perhaps tired of trying to pick sectors that will be Web winners, some investors and venture capitalists think they have found a way to bet the whole shebang--optical networking. That's the business of sending digital information...

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