From my article in IT Magazine - March 2001
All around the United States there are many examples large and small of states, counties, cities and communities that are building dark fiber infrastructure to support network and ultimately application demand. They are often open access systems that encourage network service providers and carriers of all kinds to come and light the fiber. This model creates an even playing field through competitive pricing, terms and product offerings through control of the underlying physical fiber and interconnection process.
Collectively these open systems form a fragmented picture of similar, yet disparate pieces that all seek uniformity. In as much as they gain benefits from creating their own local system they need and would benefit more from cross connecting their respective systems. The entire process is a journey, and each piece needs to be seen and understood for what and where it is. It is essentially the re-creation of the public Internet, but at the physical layer.
Many of the builders and operators of these projects in the United States are not even aware of each other. This is both good and bad. It is bad because they could all benefit from the economies of scale that are derived from co-builds, best practices, bulk buying, etc. It is good though in the sense that it shows that many people out there know what needs to be done and are just going out and doing it. Go!
Soon there will be a clear picture of how these disparate systems can plot a course for interconnection with each other to form that cohesive system that is required, like the interstate highway system that makes A to Z transport a reality between just about every meaningful point in the United States. Between now and then there is a lot of work to do, and opportunity is abound.
One such local project is Axcess Ontario.
Click here to see the full article on Axcess Ontario
For more information about building dark fiber networks visit the
Dark Fiber Community