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Thursday 2 Aug 2018 | 4 min read

Understanding dark fibre: Why dark fibre could be right for your business

Fibre optic cable

Over the last few years, there has been a growing interest in dark fibre, and for good reason. Dark fibre can provide significant benefits to businesses that want to scale up their network with incredible speeds – it’s the ultimate solution for the most demanding business data applications.

So, what is dark fibre and how can it make a difference to your business?

Dark fibre internet

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What is dark fibre?

Dark fibre refers to unlit fibre optic cable that’s been laid out but not yet activated. The user privately operates or manages the services, with the underlying fibre-optic infrastructure leased or purchased from a supplier.

Dark fibre exists because in some areas there’s extensive unused fibre optic infrastructure in place. Future-proofing strategies may have caused more cabling to be laid out than needed, so physical cables can support operators who want private connections.

What is lit fibre?

In contrast to dark fibre, a layer 2 or layer 3 ethernet service is lit fibre. This means it’s used on the basis of leased bandwidth. Therefore, as the network is already activated (aka lit, as opposed to dark), you’re not necessarily managing the infrastructure, connection or equipment yourself.

Why consider dark fibre over fibre internet?

Dark fibre has drawn interest from all kinds of businesses and organisations due to a significant number of advantages. Here are 7 reasons you could consider dark fibre over fibre internet.

1. Control and scalability of 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 without sharing the service with others.

You can scale up rapidly, continuing to replace and upgrade technology, and change equipment according to your evolving requirements. This means your equipment becomes the only limiting factor for holding back your data and speed capacities.

Dark fibre is an option that organisations with rapidly expanding data requirements should strongly consider. The technology is a powerful tool with which you can potentially match the highest demand speed, security, and bandwidth standards.

2. 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.

With dark fibre, 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.

3. Reliability and performance

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

The reliability is a result of your ability to establish point-to-point connections. This thereby bypasses the carrier’s core network routing and switching.

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

The only caveat 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.

4. Security and privacy

Since you’re dealing with purposefully linked point-to-point networks, a dark fibre network is highly secure and ensures your data never enters the public internet.

Since you’re the only “customer” on your network, you can specify the security protocol and standards you want to use, including encryption standards and settings.

5. High volume data transfer

A network device with multiple ethernet cables attached

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 choosing, for example, appropriate equipment upgrades and transmission protocols.

Again, no other users can access your network, so the bandwidth provisioned is all yours.

6. 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.

7. Available in major capital cities

Dark fibre is widely available in all of Australia’s capital cities. 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.

As mentioned earlier, taking this approach ensures reliable speed and security for your data.

Bring your business up to speed with Aussie Fibre

In a data-intensive world, dark fibre offers organisations an unmatched level of speed, performance, and control.

However, if you want all the benefits of dark fibre without having to manage the infrastructure and service yourself, Aussie Fibre could be a great alternative for your business.

Aussie Fibre can deliver a 1:1 contention ratio and offers symmetrical speed plans scalable from 250Mbps up to 10,000Mbps to meet the demands of bandwidth-hungry applications, . This means that if you order 1000Mbps you’ll always get 1000Mbps – not ‘best effort’ or ‘close to’ speeds.

To learn more about Aussie Fibre, click here.

Let us help

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

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Tags:BusinessNetwork InfrastructureThink like an Aussie

Written by

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Aaron O'Keeffe

Chief Growth Officer

Aaron worked as an IT professional for 10 years before shifting into telecommunications sales. He joined Aussie Broadband as a Business Development Manager in 2008, was promoted to National Sales Manager of the Company’s business division i...

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