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Dark Fiber is the Future of Broadband Connectivity

June 18, 2014

Dark Fiber is the Future of Broadband Connectivity

By Casey Houser
Contributing Writer

Businesses are always looking for the next best technology to place them one step ahead of competitors. In recent years, many enterprises have prominently focused on increasing their broadband speeds to give them a leg up. In many largely-populated areas, competition for broadband pricing and speed can be fierce, and one emerging sector of the broadband community that seeks to overpower all that competition is ultra high-speed dark fiber.

As a blog post at Korteco points out, the term dark fiber simply refers to a fiber optic line that a service provider or business has yet to turn on. It is a line that an entity is not yet utilizing, so such a line will not necessarily result in extremely fast broadband speeds. However, within that set of dark fiber lines lies the technology that makes projects like Google (News - Alert) Fiber, and other one megabyte per second speeds, possible.

As Korteco points out, dark fiber lines can go directly to businesses themselves, and alongside its inherent benfits of “increased security, scalability and redundancy options,” it says, “since the cables are used exclusively by their owners, there’s no danger of slowing down because a cable company allowed it to become oversubscribed.” This means that businesses will have a substantial advantage by obtaining their own exclusive patch of a fiber optic network, and cities are investing in that technology to help provide their home business with exclusive deals.

St. Louis is reportedly working with Arch Fiber to provide the downtown co-working space called T-Rex with its own patch of dark fiber. Arch Fiber and the town of St. Louis are working together to bring their businesses the fastest broadband speeds available, and it appears to be drawing in many young companies who are attracted to the advantage they know the city can provide. Jay DeLong, the St. Louis Regional Chamber vice president for new ventures and capital formation spoke about the new dark fiber lines Arch Fiber brought to the T-Rex working space.

“I don’t think they all understand why they have fantastic broadband connectivity,” DeLong said, “but they appreciate it being on and fast.”

Even if companies and individuals do not fully appreciate how dark fiber works, they will certainly respond to the capability it brings them. Fast speeds are what can separate companies from the pack, and ultra high-speed dark fiber lines are helping them break away.

Edited by Maurice Nagle
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