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In this paper the transmission limitations due to the fiber loss and dispersion in optical networks have been investigated, theoretically and experimentally, for three different fibers. An approach for computing the maximum allowable transmission distance imposed by the fiber loss and dispersion as a function of bit rate has been developed. It is found that fiber loss is the dominant factor that determine maximum allowable transmission distance at low bit rate. However, as the bit ratefatcat:jds7cv6fbvbufklg7qsqgxc2ye