What is Dark Fiber?- Benefits and Uses Explained

Rashmi Bhardwaj | Blog,Hardware, Infrastructure & Design

The traditional meaning of Dark Fiber is unused or in other words “Dark” network infrastructure. ‘Dark Fiber’ 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 the leasing of bandwidth. In other words, It is in contrast to purchasing bandwidth or leased line on an existing network. The Dark Fiber network is under total control (Layer 3 Routing) of the client rather than the network provider.

Related- Introduction to Network Router

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The benefits which can be reaped from it are –


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

Uses of Dark Fiber

A very good use case of Dark-Fiber 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 set up and is within a few kilometres of the existing HO/DC. This is where Dark-Fiber is considered the 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 the 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 the same optical fibre. This allows transferring a higher amount of data over the same Dark Fiber. Also, notable is that telecom space experienced a steep rise in companies joining the field and laying their own fibre, which happened in the 1990s and 2000s. A lot of dark fibre exists today across geographical locations.

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


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