Dark Fiber: What you need to know.
You may not be familiar with the term “dark fiber,” but it represents an untapped opportunity for many businesses and organizations.
Dark fiber allows you to take advantage of unused fiber optic wires for below market prices, helping you increase connectivity, network efficiency and speed for your customers.
If you’re interested in dark fiber, it’s time to learn more about what dark fiber actually is and how your company can benefit from it.
What Is Dark Fiber?
The term “dark fiber” actually refers to the fibers bundled into fiber optic cables that are currently unused. Fiber optic threads transmit information through pulses of light, and when these cables are unused, they’re literally unlit. These fiber optic threads are about the diameter of a human hair, but can still transmit vast quantities of data.
Service providers often build fiber optic lines with extra capacity to plan for future growth and to ensure they don’t need to install more fibers in the future. In order to extract value from these excess unused fibers, service providers lease out dark fiber to companies and organizations that can benefit from using this technology.
These high-speed fiber optic internet connections used to only be available in major cities with high bandwidth needs, like New York and Los Angeles, but that is rapidly changing. Places like Oklahoma City can now benefit from dark fiber.
The Benefits of Dark Fiber:
There are a variety of benefits that make dark fiber ideal for many businesses. Here are some of the key benefits you should consider when deciding whether dark fiber is right for you:
- Unlimited bandwidth – Perhaps the biggest benefit of dark fiber is that it can provide your business with virtually unlimited bandwidth capabilities. This not only guarantees that your business has the necessary bandwidth, but ensures optimal connectivity for clients and customers.
- Lightening fast scalability – Businesses can rapidly scale their bandwidth needs, making it an ideal solution for mirroring data centers or in situations where your business is growing quickly. As your enterprise grows, you’ll have complete control over what kind of transmission equipment to install in your dark fiber network, allowing you to quickly scale up or down based on network demand.
- Complete network control – Dark fiber allows you to construct your own physical network and plan network strategy the way you want. That also helps you better control your budget and project costs.
- Support cloud capabilities and backups – No matter what kind of company you’re running, dark fiber can help enhance your cloud and Big Data capabilities. Many applications and data storage centers are now contained within the cloud, but the network resources needed to ensure these services run smoothly are sometimes lacking. Dark fiber can fill this gap. At the same time, dark fiber also ensures that backups of your network data can occur within the cloud at incredibly fast speeds, helping maintain the integrity of your network in the event of a disaster or data loss.
Does My Business Actually Need Dark Fiber?
Businesses and organizations are increasingly adopting dark fiber, but you may be wondering if dark fiber is right for you. Businesses that typically benefit from dark fiber have high bandwidth needs, the need for scalability and network control.
A perfect example is a college campus, which requires data centers, high bandwidth and connectivity between multiple buildings. Many office buildings and developers are also incorporating dark fiber technology to attract and maintain tenants.
Other industries that can benefit from dark fiber include:
- Manufacturing and logistics
- E-commerce and retail operations
- Hotels and hospitality establishments
- Financial institutions
- Internet providers and telecommunication companies
Important Dark Fiber Considerations
Dark fiber requires you to work with an experienced dark fiber provider who can help you build and implement your network. Here are some of the key considerations:
- Manage complexity and scalability – Dark fiber is especially geared for companies that need to manage scalability between point-to-point connections. Managing this scalability often means changing equipment interfaces, but the added advantage is you can manage your own technology and bandwidth needs without having to coordinate with your carrier or figure out complex issues like term liabilities.
- Customization – With dark fiber, you are able to manage your complete technological evolution across your high bandwidth network. However, complications may arise in certain cases, such as when you have to manage connections between data centers that have different interfaces. Sometimes these interfaces aren’t standardized or aren’t offered by carriers. By choosing a managed IT service provider that has experience with dark fiber, you can ensure you have the right equipment and will implement it in a way that gives you full access to preventive maintenance and monitoring capabilities.
- Repairs and maintenance – Dark fiber is a physical asset that potentially requires maintenance and repairs. As a result, investing in this solution means you need remote monitoring and equipment repair specialists. You will also need to work with a managed IT service provider who understands these important considerations.
- Reduce latency – By choosing the right managed IT provider, you can reduce latency issues with specialized equipment or sometimes even eliminate the need for equipment altogether.
The Dobson Advantage
Dobson Technologies is there to help you extend and connect your network to support your organization’s applications and functions while scaling for growth over time. If you want to learn more about how Dobson can provide you with the dark fiber services you need for success, then call (405) 242-0105 or click to schedule a meeting with a Dobson Consultant for more information on the pricing and features you can expect.