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What if I told you there were miles upon miles of fibre optic cables installed in major cities around the word, and they weren’t being used by anyone? These cables are called dark fibre, because they have never seen the pulses of light used to transmit data.

Dark fibre was installed in cities around the world during the Internet bubble of the late 90s. The thinking behind installing these massive lengths of optical cables was that the main expense of the installation was in the labor costs. The actual cost of the cables was tiny in comparison, so it was cheaper in the long run to install fibre optic cables far in excess of what was actually being used at the time, rather than installing more cable every few years. It was believed that network usage would continue to grow until it matched the available capacity.

Even 15 years after these major fibre optic installation projects were completed, vast quantities of dark fibre remain unused. It was such a shame for the capacity of the dark fibre to be wasted, so telecommunications companies came up with a great idea to put dark fibre to use. They began offering dark fibre services, letting businesses and individuals lease the unused fibre optic infrastructure for their own use.

There are a number of benefits of using dark fibre. For starters, it offers unmatched speed of communication and data transmission. When two devices communicate through the Internet, the traffic might get routed through a long, winding, indirect path before finally reaching its destination. With a dark fibre network the data can be sent along the shortest and most direct route between two points. Another benefit is that a private dark fibre network offers more security than transmitting data over the Internet. Dark fibre also provides customizability. The user can choose what equipment is used to light the fibre cables, based on their needs and resources.

What is probably the most important reason for using dark fibre services is the cost. Businesses who want the benefits of a private network, like speed and security, often can’t bear the cost of building their own network. Laying down the fibre optic infrastructure, not to mention the maintenance of that infrastructure, is prohibitively expensive. Very few companies can afford it. Leasing infrastructure which is already built and is currently unused is a smart solution that works for many businesses.

Amcom provides extensive dark fibre services, and has thousands of miles of fibre optic cables throughout Australia. They also offer scalable solutions. The private network can be expanded to match a company’s growing needs.

Dark fibre services like Amcom’s are a great solution when speed and security are of the utmost importance.

This post was written by Max Michael.


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