While the term may conjure notions of something mysterious in the world of networking and connectivity, ‘dark fibre’ is a relatively simple concept which more and more savvy organisations are embracing as they seek to improve their operations and drive innovation within their business.
So what is Dark Fibre exactly?
Here’s the top 6 things you need to know before deciding whether dark fibre is the best option for you and your organisation.
1. Un-lit Infrastructure
As we all know, building modern fibre networks is capital and labour intensive. Just look at the NBN.
It makes economic sense then that network builders, once they’ve finished the mapping and digging, and dotted all the ‘i’s and crossed the ‘t’s, rollout as much cable as is practically possible so as to optimise their investment.
A portion of that network is ‘lit’, or activated, by the provider, for the provision of managed network services.
The portion that isn’t lit is known as ‘dark’ fibre.
2. Private Highway
Naturally, active networks have many different customers using the network.The difference being, dark fibre networks allow organisation’s to have their own private highway to themselves.
Imagine driving to work and being the only car on the commute, door to door! That’s what it’s like. Just your organisation on the one fibre pair, independent of the network provider’s active network, with only two endpoints.
3. Unlimited Scope
Importantly, this also means you have vastly more ‘headroom’ to build the network you need, scaling up and down, without needing to worry about specific constraints of one plan or another.
And because you’re driving on your own, you also don’t need to worry about performance degradation resulting from new customers joining the network and/or increased traffic from outside of your operations.
4. Abundant Availability
Carrying on from point ‘1’, the economies of network building mean that dark fibre is in abundance in many metropolitan areas. If you’re operating in regional or rural areas, then the NBN is probably your best bet.
But in cities like Singapore, Hong Kong and Sydney, dark fibre is pervasive, making it a great option for organisations looking to build fast, reliable and secure networks with the flexibility to scale up and down in line with your business requirements – there’s not the prohibitive costs and lengthy negotiations associated with other options.
5. More Cost Effective
Dark fibre can be more cost-effective too, especially if, like most modern businesses, you are planning for a future proof network. This can incur a lot of unpredictable costs if you’re trying to extend out your network under typical network services arrangements.
Fibre, as a communication link, does not have any limit on the amount of data it can carry. So if you want to dimension your network in this increasingly bandwidth hungry world, dark fibre is the perfect solution. Just spec the right hardware and you’re set. You can provision more links quickly, easily and for relatively less expense, without the fear of exceeding capacity ceilings and the confronting penalties that are often associated if you had to buy them from someone else.
6. Green Fields
Because dark fibre isn’t part of a carrier’s active ‘in-service’ network, it tends to be devoid of the sorts of equipment typically in operation, such as the switches and routers, networking firmware and the like. Another analogy to consider is moving into a brand-new house, where there’s no appliances and no furniture.
For organisations that have a certain level of inhouse expertise and resources, dark fibre networks are a blank canvas upon which they can design and build a network that exactly matches thier specifications and needs.
Superloop is one of the newest and most-progressive network operators in the Asia Pacific, offering access to an extensive, powerful and competitively priced dark fibre networks in the key metro markets of Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia. Talk to us today about how we can help you build the best network for you or check this out for more info.