Monday, July 31, 2006

Dark Fiber Glut

From the Biz Journal:

  • as much as 90% of fiber in the so-called "long-haul" area of U.S. and European voice and data networks remains dark
  • Carriers are consolidating, which ultimately could help firm up prices.
  • The 10% of in-use fiber today is up from an estimated 3% to 4% five years ago.
  • On many routes -- such as networks connecting, for example, Atlanta to Dallas -- prices are beginning to fall toward cost. That means there isn't much room for prices to drop further.
  • Voice and data carriers are starting to run out of spare inventory of "lit" bandwidth. That refers to fiber cables that are turned on and can carry data, but that aren't in active use.
  • Some large organizations are inquiring about buying dark fiber, instead of merely acquiring spare lit fiber. Among them: Hospitals, universities, banks, financial institutions and companies like Google and Yahoo! that have their own networks side-by-side with the Internet. [Plus the Abilene networks including Internet2].
  • "The bottom line here is a huge amount of video very quickly" flooding into fiber networks, says Robert Rosenberg, president of Insight Research Corp., a Boonton, N.J.-based analysis firm covering the telecom industry. "We see video as a killer application, something that may pull the U.S. telecom industry out of the doldrums."
  • Some of the telecom consolidation is due to the fiber glut. Level(3)'s plan is to be the largest owner of fiber. TWTC buying Xspedius was for access to its IRU's on the FiberLight network. (FiberLight is the former Xspedius Fiber Group aka ASCI that was not included in the sale afaik).

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