Dark Fiber

Dark fiber is essentially unused fiber not lit by the cables owner.  The lessee controls and manages all equipment on that line. The dark fiber, when lit is now an Optical Network. A typical outdoor fiber roll-out can be expensive, typically representing more than 60% in labour cost and normally just 10% or thereabout being actual fiber cost.

Many telecommunication companies rolled out fiber networks in the early 1990’s with the thought of capitalizing on the future of fiber.  The end result was thwarted with the introduction of wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) technology  With WDM, a single strand of fiber cable could carry multiple signals or types of data, thus making the need for excessive amount of fiber redundant.

Therefore, a large amount of fiber sits unused, even today, as dark fiber is still not maximized to full utilization.  The monopoly and fear of competition by mostly telecom providers has kept this ‘fiber in the dark’.  In some places, fiber is owned by the city. This thought has been changing to date, and today we see Dark Fiber providers evolving – enabling Network Operators, Universities and Enterprises to build 10GB to even 100GB Ethernet LANs and WANs for high bandwidht utilization.

Most fiber offering transmission by Telco’s are standardized and defined as OC-n, DS-3, and DS-4. Usage of Dark fiber involves leasing fiber, attaching multiplexers (DWDM or CWDM), connecting services for use, and typically FTTx or transceiver/converter out for Ethernet or intended application.

Do I need it?

It depends on your need for bandwidth and control.  For home or normal high bandwidth needs, Triple play services from providers with FTTx networks, can allow Gigabit (GB) for voice, data, and video.  If you have multi-offices and high bandwidth needs, you can consider dark fiber.  Dark fiber is an alternative leased line for GB networks. Service providers use these to connect multiple data-centers and attach multiplexers to transports data.

Most use cases involve the need for scalability and control for latency and technology usage.  As always, read SLA’s and be aware of outages, maintenance and repair aspect of fiber line.

MICCA Solution offers cabling infrastructure design and installation for Fiber-to-the-Apartment (FTTA), Fiber-to-the-Desk (FTTD) and connectivity services for GB network.  Our partners’ equipment, enable us to offer fifteen years warranty on products in these models. MICCA Solution has a model (xPON) for GB network for Condominium, Office Buildings and communities to maximize usage of GB networks for Triple Play services.

Dark Fiber Providers

Leasing dark fiber nowadays is an affordable option, some Ontario providers include Hydro One Telecom, Beanfield Metroconnect  and Fibrenoire.  You need DWM or CWDM to light the fiber on both ends, depending on model.

 Email chris@miccasol.ca to explain why you should cable your building for GB bandwidth.