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Dark fiber vendors create new opportunities for data centers

By Max Burkhalter
January 19, 2015

The growing demand for data center capacity has driven the need for greater access to fiber-optic cables - Reuters pointed out that annual market revenues for corporate data services exceeds $100 billion. Thankfully, thousands of miles of unused cables, installed as insurance for expansion by telecoms, are available for lease to entrepreneurs looking to expand access to fiber. With more companies investing in leasing and operating the lengths of deactivated cable sitting underground, more companies will soon have the opportunity to connect their data center to fiber.

Several factors suggest dark fiber availability on the rise
According to The Los Angeles Times, over 10,000 miles of dark fiber cable are currently leased to vendors and serve businesses, residents and universities throughout southern California. The demand for dark fiber in the area, along with the number of entrepreneurs looking to fill the market space, is expected to continue expanding. The state is just one example of a healthy dark fiber market, and the recent news from Washington may inspire several more. The resource reported that President Obama recently pushed the Federal Communications Commission to make it easier for cities to operate their own dark fiber networks.

Multiple vendors investing in dark fiber expansion
Many of the leaders in the dark fiber sector are doubling down on their investments, anticipating a wave of new customers. Level 3, for instance, has seen consistent growth in its dark fiber business thanks to endless increases in demand for bandwidth. The company saw a 5.8 percent increase in dark fiber sales in the third quarter of 2014 alone. On the other side of the country, a completely new vendor, Axiom Fiber Networks, has been erected to serve users in New York City, said Data Center Knowledge. By targeting companies and carriers alike, the Axiom hopes to reach the widest range of fiber customers.

IT teams working without access to broadband can be optimistic that their area may soon have access to fiber-optic cables, via new dark fiber vendor. Thanks to the use of Fiber-to-Ethernet converters, companies can even connect their current legacy copper networks directly to newly accessible dark fiber networks instead of having to replace their current cable infrastructure.

Perle has an extensive range of Managed and Unmanaged Fiber Media Converters to extended copper-based Ethernet equipment over a fiber optic link, multimode to multimode and multimode to single mode fiber up to 160 km.


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