Fiber optic communications is coming into its own, and this time it’s likely here to stay. Back in the 1990’s, thousands of miles of fiber optic cable were buried in anticipation of a telecommunications revolution that fizzled along with the technology sector in general. There is still lots of unlit fiber laying quietly in the ground, but it’s probably going to get lit sooner rather than later. That telecom revolution looks to be on again.
The original fiber optic cables were installed to support telephone calls. Voice services are the least of the demand for bandwidth anymore. Data is on the rise and rising, but video is the killer app. By that, I mean the app that will kill your network bandwidth faster than anything. Video has morphed from NTSC analog television to HDTV, with 3D starting to gain a foothold. It’s not just television, either. Video means YouTube, Netflix, Telepresence, and mobile. The proliferation of all types of video services have necessitated special content delivery networks that offload the Internet up until the last mile service provider.
The traditional T1 lines that backhaul cellular towers are just about out of capability, now that every smartphone has a data service and everyone wants to download apps on the fly and watch video content while on the go. The next generation of phones will have 2 cameras, one facing out for taking pictures and recording video clips and the other facing the user for 2-way video conferencing. There’s a new bandwidth demand that far exceeds the traditional voice conversation. It’s just as expensive to bury new copper to meet the demand as it is to bury fiber optic cables, so new backhaul will be over fiber.
Independent service providers, content delivery networks, major corporations, medical center networks and scientific research labs are among those users who find that leasing or owning dark fiber assets give them the bandwidth they need, when they need it. Dark fiber is just what it sounds like. It’s glass fiber strands within a cable bundle that haven’t been “lit” or connected to terminal equipment yet. Without a laser light shining through their core, they are truly “dark.” But those who have access to dark fiber, can choose what equipment to connect for the bandwidth and protocols they want to support. If you need more bandwidth down the road, you can use the same fiber by simply upgrading modules in your terminal equipment.
Do you need the flexibility of being able to completely manage your wide area network down to the very terminal equipment at each end? If so, you may want to take a closer look at dark fiber as the most flexible way to connect between locations. Prices are lower than they’ve ever been. You might be surprised by how affordable dark fiber is in special circumstances. Let our Telarus bandwidth consultants consider your applications and offer you an array of solutions that include dark fiber network services.