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When Should You Consider Dark Fibre?

In this digital age the demands being placed on a businesses ICT infrastructure continues to grow at a rapid rate – which typically means so do the ongoing running costs. Dark Fibre can be a cost effective solution for organisations who are looking for a resilient, scalable and future proof networking environment. 

A Photograph of Pinacl Dark Fibre

Many businesses commit themselves to disparate service providers to deliver services into their business but fail to understand the high associated costs they face when they need to make any changes to their contracts.  So why is it that business owners renew these expensive contracts year on year? Is it because they are happy with the service they receive (possibly) or is it because they simply don’t know what other options are available?

Investing in a Dark Fibre network will ensure sufficient bandwidth is available now and in the foreseeable future to cater for future technology enhancements. Dark Fibre in simple terms is fibre optic cable that is placed underground in ducts (accommodating as many or as few fibre strands as required). It is called dark fibre as it only becomes lit once connected up to whatever kit is being used at the end. What this allows organisations to do is light up additional fibre as and when required without incurring expensive charges.

Dark Fibre is not a solution for every business, BUT, where a business’s profile fits then a Dark Fibre solution can deliver significant operational and commercial benefits. 

Due to the relatively high costs associated with deploying a Dark Fibre network it is typically more viable at a local level e.g. City or Campus.

Standard Dark Fibre commercial models consist of renting fibre pairs for a predefined period. This removes the bandwidth increment cost element but still leaves businesses open to annual circuit price increases.

Pinacl offer a unique commercial model where a client has the option to purchase the fibre cable asset and therefore remove all bandwidth and annual rental charges.

Typical candidates for a Dark Fibre solution include:

  • Town and City Councils
  • Universities and Colleges 
  • Large enterprises

 A typical Dark Fibre solution will deliver a City or Campus wide network connecting separate client buildings and assets together, usually based on a resilient ring topology. Connections can also be made from large enterprise company sites to the nearest data centre or exchange building for reliable high speed multi-service connections.

Smart Cities and Places need to support multiple systems, networks and sensors to be effective. Providing legacy circuits to connect these disparate systems is not cost effective and would place an undue ongoing financial burden on the client for years to come. This is where a Dark Fibre network excels, and especially one where the client has the option to own the fibre cable assets.

A key driver of Smart Cities and Places and therefore Dark Fibre networks is the Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT greatly increases the number of connected devices which in turn puts a demand for increased bandwidth. Having a Dark Fibre network provides for a cost effective way of increasing bandwidth when more devices become available.

A prime example of how a Dark Fibre network can facilitate growth to accommodate advancements in technology is in York City. Pinacl installed a Dark Fibre network to connect numerous council buildings, schools, and libraries to facilitate a networking environment. The solution also enable other services such as traffic management, and CCTV circuits to be added on to the network. Without the Dark Fibre network then this would incur additional circuit charges from their services provider. 

Other advantages that come with owning a Dark Fibre network are that an organisation can achieve a return on investment. Pinacl installed a Dark Fibre network for Leicester University. They received a return on investment in just over 18 months meaning that the university essentially had a cost-free network and will save money year on year for the remainder of the Dark Fibre network life (typically 30 years+)

The network infrastructure is the backbone for all of your business systems so it needs to be resilient, reliable and futureproof. Dark Fibre is becoming a key part of network deployments as it gives organisations greater control and flexibility over their ICT environment.

Admittedly for smaller businesses it may be a more cost effective and manageable task to keep on top of your service providers but what about larger organisations that have hundreds of employees or those that set their sights on condensing multiple offices into one to reduce costs? These are the businesses that need to consider the bigger picture and fully immerse themselves into the digital world and accept that there is not a one size fits all solution. 

Who Should Consider a Dark Fibre Network?

 Dark Fibre is the perfect solution for businesses with high or increasing bandwidth. Pinacl have provided a Dark Fibre network for many organisations with the largest project being the University of Leicester. Pinacl designed a resilient Dark Fibre ring connecting the University’s two data centres and twenty one outlying buildings using a singlemode fibre cable, providing Leicester University with the freedom to connect whatever communications equipment they want, at the bandwidth they require. 

Unlike other telecom provider supplied circuits, with the Pinacl dark fibre circuit, you simply pay for the fibre circuit and not the bandwidth. So you can implement a 1Gbps circuit today and then increase this to 10Gbps in the future without incurring any additional circuit charges. A dark fibre network also provides the ability to physically segregate traffic and networks to ensure compliance with regulations.

Pinacl can deliver a fully integrated, secure, reliable, and flexible managed network infrastructure that enables you to get on with your day-to-day operations in the knowledge that your network is scalable and future proof.

For more information on Managed Network Infrastructure visit: Managed Network Infrastructures