Sluggish connectivity and too many configurations from too many providers, too slow a response from your provider on needed network changes or upgrades? Not with FiberLight. Leasing FiberLight dark fiber takes you light years ahead of where you are today in terms of affordability and simplicity. FiberLight gives you unrestricted use of specific strands of fiber optic cable between your locations. You choose the gear to light your network, and you maintain complete control of protocol, platform and bandwidth for the ultimate in flexibility.
- We support our Optical Transport services currently in the D.C., Maryland, and Northern Virginia type Markets.
As a leader in providing affordable, high-speed, dedicated fiber optic networks for enterprises and carriers, FiberLight can provide you with:
- Unrestricted access to unlimited bandwidth- converge your networks, eliminate bottlenecks and future-proof your network once and for all.
- Fixed-cost pricing for long-term savings- add all the bandwidth you need at no extra cost. Get the optimum return on your telecommunications investment.
- More efficient network management- centralize, simplify and streamline your network configuration.
FiberLight’s Optical Transport – our dark fiber offering – is a core product that the company was originally based upon. FiberLight designs, constructs and manages metro fiber rings in 20 metro markets. FiberLight is recognized as the industry expert in the management and delivery of end-to-end fiber optic solutions in metro areas, fiber optic network solutions to wholesale and carrier customers as well as to large enterprise customers, federal, state and local governments.
FiberLight designs, engineers, splices, tests and delivers fiber optical solutions to its customers. It can also construct lateral connections to the fiber optic rings as well as install inside plant for customers to include setting meet-me man holes, penetrating access vaults, pulling riser cable and setting fiber distribution panels. FiberLight is experienced in working with local permitting authorities and is franchised in all of its markets. The company also works closely with the local exchange carriers, CLEC’s, collocation providers, and end user buildings to provide an end-to-end solution for customers. FiberLight dark fiber networks are designed to pass by all major POP, carrier hotels, LSO’s, tandems, collocation facilities and major business parks.
Why some dark fiber is better than others?
You may think it doesn’t make a big difference which company you choose as a dark fiber supplier. After all, you’ll be operating your own network. Right?
But the truth is there are important reasons to take a hard look at who supplies your dark fiber. Significant differences exist. For example:
- Not all dark fiber suppliers provide the same level of maintenance on their fiber.
- Not all dark fiber suppliers do the same level of signal testing.
- Not all dark fiber suppliers provide the same level of redundancy. In some cases, they don’t provide true redundancy at all.
FiberLight’s dark fiber routes are clearly different from those offered by other suppliers, including and especially the ILEC. So if your company is trying to establish redundancy, you’ll actually get it from us. We build our own networks, we don’t just utilize ILEC conduit or a few strands from another provider.
If you are trying to plan for path diversity, just ask. FiberLight has been in the dark fiber business for more than 15 years and understands not only where our network is, but how are network is routed compared to other networks, to assist you in achieving route diversity.
Ask us to see the map your traffic will follow. We will be happy to provide it.
Ongoing Maintenance and Testing
We are constantly testing, maintaining and updating our dark fiber networks. We monitor the quality of the network and the quality of the signal that occurs with 24×7 real time OTDR monitoring interconnected to our NOC and Field Operations teams. If there is a problem, we respond.
Our track record for continual maintenance, monitoring, and management of our fiber infrastructure is one of the best in the industry. We will be happy to provide references on request.
Better quality fiber
Even if your network company does everything else right, you can still run into trouble. Lower quality fiber costs you money in the long run as tolerance levels and loss budgets start accelerating. That’s why FiberLight only uses top tier manufacturers.
The right size and placement
When you hear about the large rings of dark fiber that some companies offer, it may seem like this is a competitive advantage. After all, don’t large rings make it easier for you to reach your multiple locations?
The truth is, there’s an optimum size for fiber rings. Once you get past 70 kilometers (just over 40 miles), you have to move up to the next level of equipment to boost the power of your signal.
That’s why we keep our fiber rings right around the optimum 70-kilometer limit-keeping your equipment needs in a much more affordable range. FiberLight built its networks in a multiple ring configuration, sometimes up to 10 rings, which ensures broad coverage of the entire metro areas within Baltimore, Northern VA, Atlanta, Miami, Tampa, Dallas, Fort Worth, Waco, Austin, San Antonio, Houston and more.
We also make sure our rings are placed in optimum locations that don’t mimic those of other area suppliers.
Want to learn more? Contact our team and we’ll help you find the right solution.
Q) What is dark fiber?
Dark fiber is optical fiber, dedicated to a single customer, where the customer is responsible for attaching the telecommunications equipment and lasers to “light” the fiber. Traditionally, optical fiber networks have been built by carriers which they take on the responsibility of lighting the fiber and provide a managed service to the customer.
With dark fiber networks, the end customer controls the actual fiber and chooses the service provider to whom they wish to connect for services such as telephony, cable TV and Internet.
Professional third party companies who specialize in dark fiber systems take care of the actual installation of the fiber and also maintain it on behalf of the customer. These companies own the fiber, but grant IRUs (Indefeasible Rights of Use) for a contractual period for unrestricted use of the fiber.
There is no additional management complexity or overhead associated with dark fiber. In fact, in many cases dark fiber may be more reliable than traditional telecommunication services and easier to manage because it vastly simplifies the network architecture and allows the consolidation of network services to a central hub.
In addition dark fiber provides for increased competition among service providers and levels the playing field amongst all service providers for the delivery of telecommunication services. With dark fiber, customers build networks to carriers rather than the traditional model where carriers build networks to customers.
Q) What equipment do I need to light up dark fiber?
With dark fiber, simple laser devices, called transceivers, are all that is required to light the fiber. These devices will work with SONET, ATM and Ethernet devices at either end of the fiber connection. With these networks there are only 3 things that can go wrong with dark fiber – the source transceiver, the destination transceiver or the fiber itself.
Transceivers for Ethernet data can provide a signal up to 120 km. The following are typical distances for Ethernet transceivers:
- Fast Ethernet (100 Mbps) transceivers can provide a signal up to 100 km
- Gigabit Ethernet transceivers will provide a signal up to 80km
Most Gigabit Ethernet equipment manufacturers include long haul lasers, which also can be directly attached to the dark fiber.
Q) What is an IRU?
An IRU is an Indefeasible Right to Use the fiber. Most companies who offer dark fiber grant IRUs to the fiber. For regulatory reasons, generally only licensed carriers are allowed access to support structures and municipal rights of way. Rather than selling title to the fiber the fiber contractors grant a 5-20 year IRU. An IRU can be used as collateral, sold or traded and otherwise treated like a physically owned asset.
Q) How reliable is dark fiber?
Dark fiber can be more reliable than traditional telecommunication services, particularly if the customer deploys a diverse or redundant dark fiber route.
Dark fiber is a very simple technology. It is often referred to as being technologically neutral. Sections of dark fiber can be fused together so that one continuous strand exists between the customer and the ultimate destination. As such, the big advantage of dark fiber is that no active devices are required in the fiber path. Since there are no active devices dark fiber in many cases can be more reliable than a traditional managed service. Traditional managed services usually have a myriad of devices in the network path such as SONET multiplexers, Add/Drop multiplexers, ATM switches, routers, etc. Each one of these devices is susceptible to failure which is why traditional carriers have to deploy complex networks and systems to insure reliability and redundancy.
Many customers assume that because the carriers deploy SONET rings they have a reliable network. In fact, SONET rings are generally only deployed between carrier central offices. Most customers today, except in exceptional circumstances, only have one unprotected link to their nearest central office. This is the single weakest link in their network.
For the greatest reliability, many customers will install 2 separate dark fiber links to 2 separate service providers. Even with the additional fiber for redundancy, dark fiber networks are cheaper than managed services from a carrier.
With dark fiber customers have a number of choices in terms of reliability and redundancy:
•They can have single unprotected fiber link and have the same reliability as it exists today with their current carrier;
•They can use alternative technology, such as a wireless link for backup in case of a fiber break; or
•They can install a second geographically diverse dark fiber link whose total cost is still cheaper than a managed service from a carrier.
Because fiber has a greater tensile strength than copper or even steel, it is less susceptible breaks from wind or snow loads.
Q) Does dark fiber increase my network management costs and complexity?
Network cost and complexity is significantly reduced with dark fiber in a number of ways:
- Dark fiber has no active devices in the path as in a typical carrier network, therefore are fewer devices to manage and less thing that are likely to go wrong;
- Repair and maintenance of the fiber is generally included in the service contract from the fiber provider. These companies are in many cases the same companies that carriers use to maintain their fiber;
- Dark fiber allows organization to centralize servers and/or out source many different functions such as web hosting, server management, etc.
A fiber network allows large enterprise customers, universities and schools to essentially extend their in house LANs across the wide area. Because there is no effective cost to bandwidth with dark fiber the long distance LAN can be still run at native speeds with no performance degradation to the end user. It is therefore very simple to relocate a server to a distant location where previously it required close proximity because of LAN performance issues.
Q) Who manages and repairs the dark fiber in case of breaks or other problems?
In all cases management of the fiber is included in the service contract from the fiber provider. In many cases these are the same companies who maintain and repair for the major carriers. They offer the same terms and conditions to dark fiber customers as they do for the major carriers.
In many cases the companies that installed the fiber are also the ones who maintain the fiber. These companies will also look after any on-going moves, adds and changes as well as relocating the fiber in case of road construction and so forth.
Q) What about moves, adds, changes and fiber relocation services?
Moves, adds and changes are generally carried out by the fiber provider on a routine basis. Most moves, adds and changes only require breaking and fusing together existing fiber pairs. The work can be done on an hourly rate, or priced on a per move, add or change basis. The cost, terms and conditions for moves, adds, changes are usually included in your fiber maintenance agreement.
On very rare occasions fiber has to be relocated because of road construction or repair. Usually the city that had undertaken the road work will pay for the majority of the fiber relocation costs. However, if this not case, minor relocations of several hundred meters are usually included as part of the maintenance contract.
If a major relocation is required most contracts give the customer the option paying their share of the relocation expenses in proportion to the number of fibers they own in the cable or canceling the fiber contract.
Although uncompensated fiber relocations are very rare, it is a factor they should be taken into account when procuring dark fiber.
Q) Is fiber the same fiber used by the carriers?
Yes. In most cases for metropolitan and long haul fiber the most common of fiber by carriers is Single Mode Fiber (SMF-28). This is usually adequate for most fiber installations. For particularly long spans or long distances, specialty Non-Zero Dispersion Shifted Fibers (NZDSF) are used. But given the cost difference, single mode fiber is generally the fiber of choice for most fiber installations.
All splices are performed with an industry-accepted fusion splicing machine and the customer is provided with testing documentation reflecting bi-directional losses by fiber and installed span loss by fiber.
Q) What happens in case of fiber break?
Fiber breaks are very rare and typically any given span of 10 km of fiber will suffer an average of less than 5 minutes of outage due to breaks in a year.
If there is a fiber break, the fiber provider will specify an average repair interval. The repair interval for aerial fiber is usually much shorter than buried fiber. A normal fiber break outage for aerial is 4 hours and 6 hours or longer for buried fiber. However these are average repair intervals. With buried fiber, in particular, where there may be water and mud the repair time can be considerably longer.
The fiber provider will splice fibers tube by tube or ribbon by ribbon or fiber bundle by fiber bundle, rotating between tubes or ribbons operated by the separate users of the cable, including the customer, in accordance with a priority and rotation provided for in the maintenance contract. In general, priority among users of the fiber cable affected by a cut shall be determined on a rotating restoration-by-restoration and segment-by-segment basis, to provide fair and equitable restoration priority to all users of the cable, subject only to such restoration priority to which is contractually obligated by the fiber provider.
Q) What are carrier neutral collocation facilities?
In many cities, companies are building facilities to allow the interconnection of networks between competing service providers and for the hosting of web servers, storage devices, etc. They are rapidly becoming the obvious location for terminating customer owned dark fiber.
These facilities feature diesel power backup systems and the most stringent security systems. The facilities are open to carriers, web hosting firms and application service firms, internet service providers, etc.
Most carrier neutral open collocation facilities feature a “meet-me” room where fiber cables can be cross-connected to any service provider within the building. With a simple change in the optical patch panel in the collocation facility the customer can quickly and easily change service providers on very short notice.
Many of these concepts of carrier neutral collocation facilities were first developed with the next generation Internet programs in the United States and Canada with a concept called a GigaPOP. Leading researchers and universities recognized that there were many benefits to interconnecting to carriers at a common “meet me” point. So rather than having multiple carriers build separate facilities to university campuses, the universities instead built one single telecommunication facility to a GigaPOP and then interconnected to one or more carriers on a new demarcation point that was not on the customer premises.
When selecting a fiber provider, care should be taken to see if their fibers terminate at carrier neutral collocation facilities. Some fiber providers only terminate their fiber in their own central offices which makes it difficult to interconnect to other service providers or attach your own equipment to the fiber.