Dark Fiber networks are growing, and with good reason. They offer providers the ability to prepare for future network needs while offering customers more control over their networks. But what exactly is Dark Fiber and why should your business consider it?

What is Dark Fiber?

Fiber transmits data in the form of light pulses, converting it from electrical signals to light and back using optics on either end of the fiber. When fiber is in use, it’s called “lit fiber,” as light is traveling through it. When it isn’t in use, it’s, as you probably guessed, “dark fiber.” By installing extra infrastructure from the get-go, providers are able to offer spare dark fiber strands directly to future customers.

What is DWDM?

DWDM, or Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing, simply means to take data from different sources and send them over the same fiber at the same time, but at varying light frequencies. In other words, up to 80+ different channels of data can be multiplexed, or combined, into one light stream and sent via a single fiber strand. At the end of the transmission, each wavelength is demultiplexed, meaning returned to its original source format, separate from the other data sources it was travelling with.

But What Does All of This Mean for Your Business?

By using DWDM and other protocols within the pre-built out infrastructure, ISPs are able to provide virtually unlimited bandwidth and rapid scalability through their networks. According to Butter’s Law of Photonics, the amount of data that can travel through fiber optic cables doubles every nine months, due to the technology on either end of the fiber line. As technology improves, and with the use of protocols such as DWDM, bandwidth and capacity will continue to skyrocket.

Since customers are able to use their own equipment, businesses have complete control over their network’s latency, a major differentiator when businesses rely on constant, rapid communication. Dark fiber can create shorter paths, making latency more predictable and consistent. Dark Fiber connections are also dedicated, meaning that they do not share their physical connection with other customers. This benefits the customer by providing them bandwidth devoted strictly to their needs, rather than using an allotted pool of bandwidth. Likewise, they receive a private, secure medium to transfer data.

Although the upfront cost for fiber seems pricey at first, in the long-run it evens out. Connectivity essentially becomes a fixed cost, as businesses aren’t at the mercy of an Internet service provider’s rising rates. Over time, businesses benefit from being able to scale up while avoiding hefty fees to add additional capacity.

123Net Dark Fiber

123Net’s designs include single entrance, dual entrance, ring, hub and spoke, or point-to-point options. Our team handles everything in-house from design and permitting, to construction, to turn-up and support, so your network is always in local, Michigan-based hands. To learn more, visit https://www.123.net/dark-fiber/