I think that reports of the death of copper are greatly exaggerated. As an engineer working to validate 10GBase-KR backplane channels running over 30 inches of copper PCB laminate and two board to backplane connectors, I am writing to report that copper backplanes are still alive and well in 2010. This copper versus optical debate reminds me a bit of the semiconductor's optical lithography versus e-beam lithography debate. Design engineers have this habit of overcoming one obstacle after another and continuing to squeeze more performance out of systems than anyone expected. The IEEE 802.3ba committee and the OIF-CEI-25 committees both working on 25Gbps copper channels haven't thrown in their towels yet either.