What Is Dark Fiber? A Look at America’s Untapped Data Potential

America has thousands of miles of dark fiber all over the country. Companies rushed to lay down as much fiber as they could in hopes of cornering the market. Now, decades later, all this fiber sits there waiting for someone to take advantage of it.

What is dark fiber and how can you use it? What are the benefits of using it? Read on to learn about America’s untapped data potential.

What Is Dark Fiber?

Dark fiber is fiber optic cables that lay unused, or dark. More than that, they are not connected to anything on either side. They are fiber optic cables run in the late 1990s and early 2000s against what companies thought future demand would look like.

Companies put down so much fiber back then because the cost of the cable was negligible against how much it cost to dig up the ground. So they put down as many as they could to bank against future needs. Unfortunately, after the dot com bust, that need never materialized.

That means that literal miles of fiber lay dark underground. And companies still run fiber this way today. It’s an effective way to make sure a company never runs out of bandwidth and you can find more info here.

Dark Fiber Uses & Benefits

Large businesses move a lot of data, and having a secure, high-speed network helps with that. Dark fiber allows businesses to lease these unused lines and set up their own networks without the need of an Internet Service Provider (ISP). Dark fiber networks offer up data security, as no one else can use these networks without the network owner’s permission.

Data security is one of dark fiber’s selling points. People can’t connect to these networks without the proper hardware, which the companies themselves need to buy and manage. The second selling point of dark fiber is the network speed you get.

With dark fiber, the normal congestion of an ISP isn’t there, as no one but the network owner can use it. The high speeds of a fiber network can give a business the ability to send massive amounts of data very quickly over these networks. This leads to the third major selling point of a dark fiber network, scalability.

Network scalability can be expensive with an ISP, needing to subscribe to a higher tier for more bandwidth. But with a dark fiber connection, there is no need for that. The amount of bandwidth a company uses is completely under its control.

For some, the speed, security, and scalability are enough to justify the number of dark fiber costs. Since you need to lease the line long-term and buy equipment upfront to run these networks, the cost can be prohibitive for some companies. The ones that can afford it, have an unparalleled advantage.

Is Dark Fiber Right For You?

If your business needs to move a lot of data, dark fiber might be the solution you are looking for. While dark fiber costs a lot upfront, over the long term, it might save you a considerable sum of money. Look into it to see if dark fiber is right for you.

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What Is Dark Fiber? A Look at America’s Untapped Data Potential
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