Dark Fiber Optics
The Future Of Dark Fiber Optics May Be Bright
Dark fiber optics sounds as if it could be a technical term for some esoteric type of new technology. Instead these are fiber optic lines for telecommunication purposes which are not in used, or lit up. Although a leased line might also be called dark, the probable reason is that it is merely leased and may well return to unused status as soon as the lease is up.
When a company builds a network they integrate unused lines into the plans to allow for future growth or emergency use. However the number of unused lines outstrips the needs of redundancy many times over. The reason for the large number of excess lines was that during the 1990s the tel-com boom was expected to continue and even grow exponentially. Companies built entire networks in their area planning to become the provider of data and voice transfer in that area.
However technology was developed that increased the ability of lines to carry data up to as much as one hundred times the former capacity. Fewer lines were needed as a result. Bankruptcy was not uncommon because many of these fiber projects required millions in investment. Companies that survived this period were left with cable that could supply their needs for the future one hundred times over.
The supply of unlit lines is far in excess of the what the demand for them has been. Over the last few years though, there has been a noticeable stirring of interest in these formerly unused lines. Communication and connection has become part of our way of life and doing business and the unused lines are drawing speculation from companies which are attempting to keep up with the connected world.
For a very long period, fiber optics were almost never sold and hardly ever leased. However, over the last few years, the trend toward buying up these lines has grown. Some entertainment and data providers are buying up their own lines to extend their delivery area, while other research and educational groups are buying up line as a coop to speed their communication and allow for future growth.
Large corporations and larger companies are seeing the potential of a bottomed out market in lines, and taking action. Investing in a network backbone is not an inexpensive operation but a logical step for some companies. Some internet enterprises such as search engines have shown interest in negotiating for large amounts of this network line.
Currently there are plenty of dark fiber optics, however the situation may not remain stable forever. Corporations with big plans and companies who see the logic in owning their own communication lines, are becoming interested. This is not a strategy for the moment, but one which appears to plan for the future on the parts of many of these investors.