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The Role of Dark Fiber in Digital Acceleration


by Andrés Irlando, President & Chief Operating Officer

Digitization is no longer an option for businesses — it is table stakes for long-term success. We have moved beyond classic gradual transformation into a new phase of digital acceleration, where changes are happening in a matter of months or days instead of years. Think about the growth of NFTs, a technology that has existed in relative obscurity since 2014 but has exploded to become a $35 billion market that could more than double by 2025. Cryptocurrency existed for many years in the deepest corners of the internet; now, athletes are taking their salaries in bitcoin.

These groundbreaking technologies require network infrastructure to support massive amounts of data transference from the edge. That powerful fiber-based network gives businesses the flexibility, agility, reliability, and scalability necessary to anticipate market trends and the changing needs of consumers. But, it can’t just be any network — it needs to be a cloud-based solution that enables “anywhere operations.” Cloud solutions and fiber-based networks empower emerging technologies and keep an increasingly dispersed workforce well connected.

Cloud solutions that enable digital acceleration and continuous communication worldwide need to be powered by high-throughput, low latency networks. Fiber-based networks provide the best solution for enterprises looking to gain a competitive advantage. With fiber — specifically dark fiber — data transfers seamlessly from edge-to-cloud, edge-to-core, and edge-to-edge. Fiber connects the sprawling puzzle that is our modern digital ecosystem.

The Power of Dark Fiber

For digital acceleration, security, reliability, and performance are crucial. Organizations are always looking for competitive advantages. However, many still struggle to transition from legacy physical network infrastructure like MPLS to the new age of the cloud. Challenges like maintaining control over data, keeping the network running 24/7, and balancing security with customer experience often get in the way.

Dark fiber offers numerous benefits for businesses looking to transfer data at high speeds. From finance to healthcare to transportation, fiber is the backbone of it all. Monumental innovations like NFTs and cryptocurrency can’t happen without more bandwidth, more endpoints, lower latency, and thus fiber.

Dark fiber offers control, resilience, and security because a “dark” connection isn’t shared with other users. That is so important with concerns about protecting sensitive data on the rise — total ransomware attacks jumped 105% from 2020 to 2021. Choosing dark fiber offers complete transparency, protection, and control over network diversity, minimizing latency and downtime.

The power of a dark fiber network is virtually unlimited, restricted only by the equipment your company installs and runs. Bandwidth demands are changing daily or even multiple times a day; dark fiber connections require only a simple equipment update as needed. When scalability and resilience are necessary, dark fiber future-proofs your network for unexpected shifts down the road.

Dark fiber is also cost-effective, with a capital expense-driven payment model that offers more control over network infrastructure costs and greater scalability to meet end-user needs. For bandwidth-intensive organizations, capacity can be expanded with one capital expenditure and minimal ongoing operating expenditures.

At Zayo, we offer industry-leading network infrastructure solutions, with more than 15 million fiber miles covering major markets in the United States, Canada, and Western Europe. But, we’re not resting there — we continue to expand our reach, building more routes to lay the foundation for disruptive technologies and digital transformation accelerators that will change our world.