What Is a Dark Fiber Network, and Is It a Good Fit for Your Company?

Business communication begins with speed. Clients, customers, and employees have come to expect instant access to each other, and the ramp-up of voice, data, and video across networks has increased the need for more bandwidth to achieve those speeds. In the late 1990s, optical fiber was the answer to its slower cable cousin; but over the years, providers have controlled and throttled much of the available cable and fiber optics. Today, dark fiber can help businesses achieve their desired speeds. Read on to learn how.

What Is Dark Fiber?

Fiber connection has two states: lit and dark. While it seems like "dark" would indicate non-functioning or out of order and nefarious undertones, dark fiber networks are the opposite. They are untapped goldmines of speed, security, and scalability.

By January of 2002, the Washington Post reported close to 40 million miles1 of fiber-optic cables had been buried under streets and alongside railroads across the country in anticipation of a continued broadband boom. As the dot-com explosion fizzled in 2000, companies that had heavily invested in buying and leasing fiber optics went bankrupt, leaving millions of fiber optic lines unused.


Prior to the mid-2010s, connecting to these cables was extremely cost-prohibitive. So what changed?

 

Why Dark Fiber in Houston Is a Must-Have for Local Businesses


Fiber offers speeds of 100 gigabits per second instead of cable's 100Mbps. Technology like dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) multiplied the ability of fiber to send 128 different wavelengths,2 nearly 100 times the amount of data that initially could be sent on a single fiber optic cable. The 2021 Dark Fiber Network Market Report3 projects significant growth in dark fiber as a sustainable telecommunications solution across all public and private sectors.

Carriers and providers in Houston who own or lease active or lit fiber are the gatekeepers of speed. Dark fiber networks are untapped, high-bandwidth resources that local businesses can control. Besides speed, key features include:

  • Direct connection from point A to point B.4 Commercial carriers bounce the signal across data centers, so having a straight line improves performance.
  • More security.5 Having a singular connection point versus multiple access points drastically reduces cyber risks.
  • Control of the bandwidth to scale speeds to fit your needs.

There's just one drawback. Although dark fiber offers speed and scalability, the price of "lighting" dark fiber in Houston can potentially cause a bit of sticker shock. 

President Biden's historic Infrastructure Bill allows grants to offset costs for current internet providers, but dark fiber networks are not plug and play. Requirements such as expert installation and equipment, ongoing support, and more add up.

Pure Speed Lightwave Is The Premiere Houston Dark Fiber Provider

Houston's business market is booming – and all those companies rely heavily on internet and cellular data transfers. Slow fiber and digital connectivity speeds can cost you customers. Dark fiber will give your company a competitive edge. PS Lightwave is the leading private fiber optic network service provider in the Greater Houston Area and surrounding communities. Our dark fiber expert team will help you:

  • Lease reliable, high-quality dark fiber routes
  • Light dark fiber to suit your needs, including adjusting speeds as your business grows
  • Manage and maintain your dark fiber network equipment
  • Gain ongoing support and monitoring of the physical health of the network

PS Lightwave offers reliable, personalized service at the right price point. Most importantly, we know the value of responsive support. We created a local network operations center (NOC) that provides 24/7 care, 365 days of the year. Our network is diversely routed, giving you peace of mind when it comes to congestion and downtime.  

Contact PS Lightwave today and see if our large, facilities-based private network of fiber internet, VoIP, and dark fiber routes can help take your business to the next level.

Sources:

1. https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/business/2002/01/01/broadband-strategy-got-enron-in-trouble/86ce87f6-33e6-4efe-90c5-067c795e9e8c/
2. https://www.ecmag.com/section/systems/lighting-dark-fiber
3. https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210616005805/en/Global-Dark-Fiber-Network-Single-Mode-Multi-mode-Market-Size-Share-Trends-Analysis-Report-2021-2028---ResearchAndMarkets.com
4. https://www.networkcomputing.com/networking/5-things-you-should-know-about-dark-fiber
5. https://smallbiztrends.com/2017/09/fiber-networking-options-small-business.html