What is Dark Fiber

The traditional meaning of Dark Fibre is unused or in other words “Dark” network infrastructure. ‘Dark Fibre’ is especially well known term in network providers and operators. Unused strands of Fiber is leased to customers to create their own privately-operated optical fibre network. This is different from leasing of bandwidth. In other words, Dark Fiber is in contrast to purchasing bandwidth or leased line on an existing network. The Dark Fibre network is under total control (Layer 3 Routing) of the client rather than the network provider.

The benefits which can be reaped from dark fiber are –


  • High performance
  • Secured network flow and separation from other traffic
  • Superfast speeds
  • Low and Fixed cost
  • Reliable medium
  • Full control of the fiber optic network.

A very good use case of Dark Fibre is when an existing Head Office or Data Centre wants to expand its scope beyond one building. A new building of this company has been setup and is within few kilometers of the existing HO/DC. This is where Dark Fiber is considered best fit solution – both the existing and new Building will be connected over Dark Fibre (Leased from Service Provider) with no routing participation by the Service Provider Network. Customer will have full control of routing domain and its management.

Dark Fiber has earned more preference, thanks to advanced Fiber optic technologies like DWDM. DWDM (Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing) makes use of different wavelengths to transport multiple data signals over same optical fiber. This allows to transfer higher amount of data over same Dark Fibre. Also, notable is that telecom space experienced steep rise in companies joining the field and laying their own fiber, which happened in 1990s and 2000s. A lot of dark fiber exists today across geographical locations.

To summarize, it is rational to share that Dark Fibre is there to stay for a very long time and a concept in use nowadays. Dark Fibre supports the business objective of organizations and henceforth de facto WAN solution in IT world.

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