Understanding Dark Fibre: 7 Reasons Why Dark Fibre Could Be The Right Solution For Your Business

July 2nd, 2018 - Get new posts sent straight to your inbox, click here. Aaron O'Keeffe

You may have already heard the term ‘dark fibre’ being thrown around; there’s been a growing interest in this technology, and for good reason.

If you’re interested in scaling up your network with incredible data speeds, it’s worthwhile finding out as much as you can about dark fibre.

What is dark fibre?

Dark fibre refers to unlit fibre optic cable (laid out but not yet activated) As a service, it’s privately operated or managed by the user, with the underlying fibre-optic infrastructure leased or purchased from a supplier.

Dark fibre exists because in some areas there’s extensive fibre optic infrastructure in place, but not all of it is in use. More cabling might be laid out than needed – due to future-proofing strategies – so the physical cables are able to support private operators who want their own connections.

In contrast to dark fibre, using a layer 2 or layer 3 ethernet service is on the basis of leased bandwidth. The network is already activated and you’re not necessarily managing the connection or equipment yourself.

Benefits of dark fibre: why consider it?

Dark fibre has drawn interest from all kinds of businesses and organisations due to a significant number of advantages. Here are 7 reasons you should be considering it yourself.

Control and scalability your network

One of the most significant benefits of dark fibre is it gives private operators full control and freedom over their network, equipment and connection settings. You can decide the type of transmission technology, protocols and features you’d prefer for your business. Dark fibre is a way to build your own network and have complete control over how it works, because your organisation won’t be sharing the service with others.

You can scale up rapidly, continuing to replace and upgrade technology, and change equipment according to your organisation’s evolving requirements. This means your data and speed capacities will be limited only by the equipment you use for your dark fibre network.

Dark fibre is an option that should be strongly considered if your business has rapidly expanding data requirements, and might be finding it a challenge to meet them on standard networks. It offers you a powerful tool with which you can potentially match the highest demand speed, security, and bandwidth standards.

Control over costs

As you’re the one managing and operating your dark fibre network, you have control over not just equipment and technology, but also cost. You can explore different options to find the best way of scaling up your data requirements, rather than relying on a service provider’s terms and conditions. If you have high levels of data demand, you can operate your own network, with almost full control over costs.

Reliability and performance

Dark fibre offers high reliability and performance when it comes to equipment failure because it’s connected from point-to-point and the cables are maintained in marked communications conduits underground. Common types of outages due to third party damage to the power infrastructure, whether that be to the physical cabling or the power supply, are mostly avoidable with dark fibre.

The reliability is a result of your ability to establish point-to-point connections, thereby bypassing the carriers core network routing and switching.

With the prevalence of of cloud-based technologies, especially in larger businesses, having a reliable network can be vital. Your dark fibre network can offer you the level of reliability you need to minimise disruption to accessing your cloud services.

The only caveat to the above point is that it is more difficult to build diversity and redundancy into your network as this redundancy and diversity is usually managed at an IP level.

Security and privacy

Since you’re dealing with purposefully linked point-to-point networks, your data is highly secure and never enters the public internet. Since you’re the only “customer” on your network, you can specify the security protocol and standards you’ll be using, including encryption standards and settings.

High volume data transfer

Fibre optic cables can be lit up to 100Gbps on a single wavelength depending on the distance of the fibre cable itself. As you’re managing the network, you can optimise it for speed by choosing, for example, appropriate equipment upgrades and transmission protocols. Again, no other users can access your network, so the bandwidth provisioned is all yours.

Available in major capital cities

Dark fibre is widely available in the capital cities, and you can get connected in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra, Hobart and Darwin. You can use your dark fibre network to link buildings-to-buildings, or buildings-to-data centres. For example, you can set up a direct connection between two different sites you have in the same city, or you can set up a direct link to your data centres.

Create your own network without buying the infrastructure

Remember, with dark fibre you’re operating the network and typically not taking ownership of the physical cables. This means you’re not necessarily committed to the underlying infrastructure and you’re not making outlays to install your own fibre. Given this, dark fibre offers a great balance between control and cost commitments.

Bring your business up to speed

In a data-intensive world, dark fibre offers organisations an unmatched level of speed, performance, and control. No other network solution matches the level of control over equipment, standards, protocol, or the uniqueness dark fibre provides in flexibility for enterprises seeking to scale up. Given dark fibre’s significant advantages it’s an option well worth considering for medium to large businesses.

Aussie Broadband is a 100% Australian-owned business providing premium enterprise solutions without the “big telco” experience. With our expertise in a full suite of telecommunications services, we can assist you with any product or service you need.

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About the author

Aaron O'Keeffe

Aaron O'Keeffe

Aaron works from an office in the tropical Northern Territory, inciting intense jealousy from his Victorian workmates during winter. He’s an expert in IT solutions from the ground up. Aaron is National Sales Manager of Wideband, which specialises in bespoke telco solutions for corporate and government customers.