It sounds like something out of Star Wars movie. So what exactly is dark fibre, how does it work and will it turn your business to the dark side or enable you to use your resources for good?
What is Dark Fibre?
Dark Fibre is a term used to describe fibre optic cables that are already laid and installed but not in use within networks. Installing network systems requires a lot of effort, a lot of disruption and is costly. Often when installations occur, fibre is hauled so that it will be ready and available to service networks of the future. It makes sense to put extra resources in at the time that upgrades occur. The surplus of cabling can be made available to organisations and businesses who can have full control of how it is set up and used.
Why is it called Dark Fibre?
The amount of data that we produced and convey is increasing exponentially every year. To ensure our systems have the capacity to meet future needs, extra fibres have been installed. The fibres that are waiting for future use in our networks are considered unlit and inactive; they are not yet switched on in the same way that active cables are and literally have no light passing through. Access to these fibres can be provided through lease or purchase, and then switched on and established in the way that best suits the need of the purchaser.
What is Lit Fibre?
Once all the logistics and housekeeping are in order and point-to-point connectivity has been established, the fun begins. Light pulses are used as the medium which traverse through thin strands of fine glass within the fibre optics and the dark fibre becomes lit. So to recap, dark fibre is unused fibre and lit fibre is fibre that is active.
Why use Dark Fibre?
The dormant dark fibre that will help us meet our data needs of the future is actually available for use now. Access to dark fibre can be bought or leased, and set up to individual requirements. Getting onto dark fibre avoids the need for standard ethernet services. This means greater flexibility in use, autonomy in operation and potentially lower costs. And because all of the resources are available, it is relatively easy to access and switch on fibres when they are required.
Power! Unlimited power!
OK, maybe dark fibre doesn’t offer unlimited power, but you can certainly get some incredible results, up to 100Gbps dependent on the distance of the cable. The bandwidth in your fibres will be exclusively yours and yours only. If there are main network problems or outages, you’re less likely to be impacted as there are no third party carrier equipment. Dark fibre will also bring you a consistently high performance, higher speeds and a level of security to enhance your network.
Dark Fibre drawbacks
There are some unique factors to consider before diving into the dark side. If there are maintenance or fault work requirements such as a fibre cut, these can take much longer to be addressed as civil works are usually required to locate the break and re-splice. There may be some costs associated with setting up and customised infrastructure support. However, the ability to scale to meet business and data requirements combined with the ability to set up long term contracts mean a good return on investment overall.
Where is Dark Fibre available?
Recent works and expansions mean that dark fibre is available in every capital city in Australia. Configuration can be done to suit your needs and data exchange requirements. So why not take a trip to the dark side? We're confident you'll be delighted with the results.
For more information, call us on 1300 592 330 and one of the team will be happy to assist.
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