Using fibre to send data is nothing new. But still there is a lot unknown about how it works and how to get the right connectivity. Basic questions, like what kind of connectors you need, complicated questions about wave amplification or even, surprisingly, which provider you can use. Almost all ISPs say have their own fibre glass network, but do they really?

In The Netherlands, only a handful of companies actually have their own fibre network and can expand that network by putting new cables into the ground. All the others just offer services on this dark fibre: they rent one or more fibre pairs from one of the few dark fibre providers and create a service across that dark fibre by ‘lighting’ it. Lighting the dark fibre is where dark fibre’s versatility becomes clear: this is where you define the services that you can run. This is why at Fusix, we say that dark fibre is the driver for enabling service.

The light is sent over the fibre with optic modules. When buying these, take into account not only the service you wish to provide, but also the optical budget: the shorter the distance the light travels, the smaller the budget the optic has to have to compensate the loss inside the fibre stretch. With a longer distance comes more loss. Sometimes it is possible to amplify the light to compensate for this loss. So make sure the use the right optic.

It is not just the distance you need to think about. Are you using the fibre just for one service or multiple ones? The more services you need to offer to your customers, the more frequencies (or: different colours of light) you can send over the fibre. This is done with a multiplexer or mux: it combines the different light frequencies, sends the whole package over the fibre and on the other side, a demux separates the frequencies again. Using this technique, Wave Division Multiplexing, (WDM) you can currently send up to 160 different colours of light through the fibreglass cable – and by the time you will need more, it will be possible to add more channels.

With dark fibre as your service enabler, the possibilities are limitless. Whether you need to link two datacentre sites together or wish to start working from the cloud – dark fibre is the key to enable scalable and fast service.