The annual optical networking confab said that cancellation lists don't tell the full story of what's set to happen in San Diego next week.

Phil Harvey, Editor-in-Chief

March 3, 2020

5 Min Read
OFC management: 500 sponsors and exhibitors are planning to attend

The Optical Fibre Conference (OFC) is expecting a big list of exhibitors and sponsors to turn up in San Diego next week.

OFC show management told Light Reading in an email that "more than 500 exhibitors and sponsors are still planning to attend the conference and options are being made available to speakers and presenters impacted by imposed travel restrictions and company policies to pre-record their presentation or participate live via Zoom." The show is scheduled to begin on Sunday, March 8.

Several optical networking vendors and service providers are limiting staff travel to large events because of concerns over the spread of COVID-19, caused by a new member of the coronavirus family that's similar to SARS and MERS.

The show's organizers – the IEEE Communications Society (IEEE ComSoc), IEEE Photonics Society and The Optical Society (OSA) – have said they are taking health and safety precautions so that folks turning up can focus on the program.

"While there have been large event cancellations in Europe and Asia, that has not been suggested or advised by U.S. government and health officials given the extremely low risk. For OFC, it is business as usual," the show's organizers wrote on the OFC site's COVID-19 FAQ.

The conference has more than 30 business sessions and over 130 technical sessions scheduled for the week-long gathering. The exhibits floor will feature hundreds of organizations, too, organizers said.

Light Reading has verified that the following 20 firms have pulled out. We won't update this list, but we do encourage companies to comment in the space below to say whether they're going so others can more easily connect for meetings.

Please send optical networking news and announcements to [email protected].




Acacia Communications

Withdrawal confirmed.

The optical components vendor announced on February 27 it was pulling out "due to growing global concerns surrounding the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak."


Withdrawal confirmed.

Announced and reported on February 25.

Cignal AI

Withdrawal confirmed.

The analyst group emailed clients on March 2 to confirm its OFC withdrawal.


Withdrawal confirmed.

The networking giant said on February 28 that it won't be at OFC or the HIMSS event, which was scheduled for the same week.


Withdrawal confirmed.

The optical fiber maker announced its withdrawal from OFC on March 2.


Withdrawal confirmed.

The testing vendor emailed Light Reading on March 2.

Fujitsu Network Communications

Withdrawal reported.

Multiple analysts have reported that the company is no longer participating.


Exhibition withdrawal confirmed.

The company may have N. American, European and other staff attending technical sessions, but it won't be hosting a booth on the show floor.


Withdrawal confirmed.

The optical networking vendor announced its withdrawal on February 27.


Withdrawal reported.

The components vendor announced its OFC withdrawal on its website.


Withdrawal confirmed.

Multiple analysts have reported that the company is no longer participating.


Withdrawal confirmed.

Intel confirmed its withdrawal from OFC in a February 27 email to Light Reading.

Juniper Networks

Withdrawal confirmed.

The network equipment vendor emailed press and analysts about its cancellation on March 1.


Withdrawal confirmed.

The optical components vendor announced its decision on February 25.


Withdrawal confirmed.

Multiple analysts have reported that the company is no longer participating.


Withdrawal confirmed.

The company announced its OFC withdrawal on February 28.


Withdrawal confirmed.

The optical fiber maker announced its withdrawal from OFC on February 27.


Withdrawal reported.

Verizon reps told Heavy Reading that they were not sending staff to OFC this year.


Withdrawal confirmed.

The network test company announced to analysts and press via email on February 26 that it "has chosen to cancel its participation in OFC 2020."


Withdrawal confirmed.

The components vendor replied to an email from Light Reading on March 2, confirming their withdrawal.

(Source: The companies, Light Reading, Heavy Reading)

Phil Harvey, US Bureau Chief, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Phil Harvey

Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

Phil Harvey has been a Light Reading writer and editor for more than 18 years combined. He began his second tour as the site's chief editor in April 2020.

His interest in speed and scale means he often covers optical networking and the foundational technologies powering the modern Internet.

Harvey covered networking, Internet infrastructure and dot-com mania in the late 90s for Silicon Valley magazines like UPSIDE and Red Herring before joining Light Reading (for the first time) in late 2000.

After moving to the Republic of Texas, Harvey spent eight years as a contributing tech writer for D CEO magazine, producing columns about tech advances in everything from supercomputing to cellphone recycling.

Harvey is an avid photographer and camera collector – if you accept that compulsive shopping and "collecting" are the same.

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