What is Dark Fiber?

Commerce, in general, is going digital. Corporations, hospitals, media companies and educational institutions use enormous amounts of bandwidth to handle, among other things, HD video, data transfer, sensor data, telemedicine and Internet (IP) services to run their businesses in a paperless environment. At the same time, the number of networked devices and digital downloads supported by these organizations has skyrocketed. Keeping up with this demand for high-speed bandwidth has become a top priority and a major financial investment.
Companies and institutions that want to save money, while continuing to meet their needs for significant amounts of bandwidth, are turning to secure and private “dark fiber” networks to make this possible.
Dark fiber networks are constructed with bundled cables containing hundreds of optical fiber strands, often buried underground within metal conduits in a loop around a region with spokes connecting buildings and other locations. These cables connect to major nodes, such as cell towers, data centers, and IP hubs. The fibers in these cables are not “lit” or “active” with ongoing data transmission, but are ready for use once an enterprise company or network operator “lights” the dark fiber by placing electronic networking equipment at either end. By leasing segments of a dark fiber network, businesses can use their own IT staff and networking equipment to connect their multiple locations to create a private network or to connect to other network hubs to gain access to various high speed internet providers. Dark fiber is THE enabling factor that allows companies and institutions to manage their digital communications in ways that make the most business sense.
This infographic provides a visual explanation of dark fiber and how it can help institutions maintain the fastest transmission speeds, as well as save money by scaling the amount of bandwidth purchased to more closely match a business’s specific requirements, while preserving an unlimited potential for growth.

dark fiber infographic

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