It’s Not Just for Carriers Anymore

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Dark Fiber Serves Verticals Beyond Telecom

There is no way around it. Businesses of all sizes and in every vertical need fast bandwidth to succeed. From processing payments, to sharing files, to cybersecurity, connectivity and a reliable network are absolute necessities for success. The rate of growth in bandwidth requirements makes dark fiber an incredibly attractive asset for organizations.

Dark fiber is exceedingly attractive because it allows organizations to implement a solution that gives them the control to create their own wide-area network (WAN). Companies can build for the future with the assurance of expansion capabilities; they are able to grow the network whenever necessary. All of this can be done without the time-consuming process of coordinating with an outside party and waiting through long installation timeframes. In short, dark fiber allows for complete control.

Low latency is a term that is thrown around often these days. Latency is the amount of time it takes for data to travel. So, of course, the lower the latency the better. Dark fiber gives organizations the ability to shave valuable time from their latency. Security is also top of mind for companies large and small. A dark fiber solution allows for network security with a proprietary commodity that meets the unique requirements of a company.

Following is a look at how dark fiber specifically benefits 7 verticals and meets their distinct needs.

Vertical 1
Landline Service Providers
Carriers must have the ability to expand their service area footprint with a flexible network in order to provide high-bandwidth services to consumers as well as business customers. Dark fiber enables carriers to consistently expand their network presence and effectively support future capacity requirements. This allows for the most diverse and responsive network for their end users. Carriers can also collocate their equipment and servers in a colocation facility along the network path.

Vertical 2
Enterprise
As large organizations grow, so too does their need for reliable connectivity that can be enhanced at any time. What’s more, many industries utilize applications that have high bandwidth needs and very specific latency requirements that must be addressed and met quickly and efficiently.

With dark fiber, enterprises are able to manage the network connectivity themselves and select the appropriate equipment and protocols for deploying the network. And even as bandwidth increases, the private, fully dedicated network infrastructure ensures corporate data is secure.

Vertical 3
Government
Government agencies place a premium on avoiding excess costs in order to decrease the burden on taxpayers. Dark fiber offers a network in which the costs are significantly lower, and more predictable, than other options. Top-level cybersecurity capabilities are imperative in the battle against attacks to government networks. And, like enterprises, governmental organizations must also be able to increase bandwidth as their networks grow.

Vertical 4
Wireless Service Providers
Wireless carriers have become increasingly attracted to dark fiber to power small cell backhaul and further densification of their cellular network. The need for dark fiber to meet small cell demand will continue to grow as C-RAN (a standardized, Cloud-based architecture for radio access networks) is utilized more. Many carriers are employing dark fiber to the tower as well so they can immediately scale whenever the need arises.

Vertical 5
Finance
In the finance industry, low latency can mean the difference between winning or losing a trade. Firms are utilizing dark fiber in order to reduce network latency and have the best chance possible at beating a competitor on a stock trade. Thus, shaving milliseconds (one-thousandth of a second) is of the utmost importance when it comes to automated trading. C-levels and IT executives are realizing that the best way to achieve the lowest latency is through controlling their own network through a proprietary dark fiber system. This empowers financial firms to increase bandwidth when necessary, execute secure transactions, and choose hardware and equipment that meet their specific needs.

Vertical 6
Education
Technology continues to become an increasingly important part of the classroom, from kindergarten through college. Schools are using more web-based services, and connected devices are becoming the norm. Instead of experiencing frustrating connectivity issues, many schools are opting for dark fiber to achieve seamless connectivity and a more effective learning environment.

Vertical 7
Healthcare
The healthcare industry is experiencing an increasing demand for remotely treating patients as well as teaching students. Security is especially important as HIPAA regulations are stringent for the storage and sharing of electronic files containing patient data and other sensitive information.

Many healthcare organizations also operate across multiple buildings and campuses. Dark fiber ensures that connectivity between locations is fast, secure, and compliant. This connectivity allows for improved patient care and increased capabilities among doctors, nurses, and other personnel.

Conclusion
The numbers don’t lie. The need for bandwidth has exploded and there are no signs it will slow down. As this trend continues, the rise of dark fiber is being recognized as one of the most dependable solutions available.

According to a report from the Global Bandwidth Forecast Service (https://www.telegeography.com/research-services/global-bandwidth-forecast-service/), the need for bandwidth will continue to accelerate and grow exponentially during the next several years. The report states that from 2015 through 2022, the demand for bandwidth will increase by a compound annual growth rate of nearly 40%. The research company IBISWorld (http://www.ibisworld.com/) also predicts a growing need for dark fiber in its report, “Dark Fiber Operators in the U.S. Market Research Report”, stating, “Largely due to mounting demand for low-latency data transport and exclusive network segments, the Dark Fiber Network Operators industry has grown rapidly in recent years. Over the past 5 years, industry players have added route miles to their networks through acquisitions, largely because of the high cost of installing new cables. This trend is anticipated to continue over the next 5 years.”

Based on these industry projections, companies across every vertical will require a fast, secure, and compliant network that can scale on demand. Reliable connectivity between buildings and campuses is going to increasingly be viewed as a utility as necessary as running water and working lights.

As we near 2020, dark fiber will continue to be the solution organizations turn to help them keep up with a rapidly changing world.

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About Author

Christopher Lodge is President and COO, United Fiber & Data. He has more than 25 years of experience in Information Technology and the Carrier space. United Fiber & Data is addressing the demand for dark fiber services with a diverse pathway of fiber optics running from New York City to Ashburn, Virginia. For more information, please email info@ufd.com or visit www.ufd.com.

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