What Is Dark Fiber and What Are The Benefits?

Posted on: November 25th, 2019 by David Debono


Dark Fiber is a fiber optic cable with no light passing through it. It is also referred to as unlit fiber. A Dark Fiber, fibre optic cable is a data communication cable that has not been activated and is not connected or utilised yet.

Since the installation of fibre optic cable is typically complicated and very costly, it is common practice to lay down more cable than initially necessary in preparation for future demand.

Telecommunications companies and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) make use of unlit fiber to provide lit and managed fibre connections to their customers for an ongoing monthly service access fee.

Using single mode (SMF) and multi mode (MMF) Fibre cables, customers benefit from high bandwidth, with long distance and short distance applications respectively.

Fiber Optic cables transmit data through light impulses. Data travels by way of light signals through transmission medium. The speed of light is transmitted about 299,792,458 meters per second, which is approximately 300,000 kilometers per second.

When light travels through a fiber optic cable, its speed is reduced by approximately 30%. At these signal speeds, data transfer can reach about 1000 Mbps or more. (1Gbps+)

To get a better idea of the magnitude of these speeds, in comparison to other broadband connections, an ADSL (asymmetric digital subscriber line) would typically achieve a 7 – 15 Mbps download rate, and a relatively fast 4G mobile network connection could reach 20 – 40Mbps. This makes the fiber optic cable a superior symmetrical data connection, offering uncontended download and upload speeds.


Benefits of Dark Fiber

  • High performance equipment at each end of the connection can achieve very high and almost unlimited bandwidth.
  • Other benefits include fast scalability (scale up or down based on required bandwidth). You can assign bandwidth to specific services like video conferencing or backups and add additional services to the network and per your custom requirement.
  • Completely control your network. You can build, deploy, manage, and secure everything on your terms.
  • Dark fiber allows organisations for improved encryption and security or their data network.
  • Create a direct connection between two locations, between branches, data centers, or buildings.
  • Less dependency on fiber optic providers for your linked connection.
  • Physical Redundancy can also be achieved by deploying a dark fiber network.

Pros and Cons of Dark Fiber


  • Faster data transmission.
  • The initial costs can be higher but can be more cost-effective over
    time due to reduced carrier costs
  • No shared network or costly rentals from service providers
  • More reliable because there are fewer limitations
    are less interference.
  • Improved commercial internet service experience
  • Improved latency
  • Increased Security
  • Scalable
  • Providing more control to the organisation


  • Connection limitations (last mile)
  • Available across major cities but limited in regional and rural areas
  • High initial costs for planning, equipment, and set up
  • Internal resources require greater expertise

Available in several Australian capital cities:
Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Alice Springs, Darwin, Newcastle, Perth, Adelaide, Hobart, Canberra

Businesses and organisations requiring more control of their data networks, with great performance are well suited for a dark fiber network.

Costs and overall solution will be dependent on the organisation’s specific requirements.

Organisations needing a network with a higher degree of speed, control, security, and scalability should strongly consider dark fiber as a part of their data network strategy.

Need Help With The Procurement of Dark Fiber?

If your business is interested in Dark Fiber but needs some support in determining the feasibility of the project, CircleBC can provide you with a Dark Fiber Consultant who can help you work through the process of determining if Dark Fiber is a good fit for your organisation, if it is available where you need it and we can help you organise proposals from vendors to save you the legwork. As these projects can sometimes be quite complex, we can work with you during the initial requirements gathering face, consulting with internal teams and vendors, through the procurement cycle and through to delivery and implementation, if you need Network Engineers to assist you to integrate with you network we can assist you with that as well.

Circle Business Consulting have helped businesses all over Australia with their Telecommunications requirements, we have delivered solutions in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Hobart, Adelaide, Canberra, Perth, Tasmania, Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia. If you have a dark fiber project and need an independent consultant to help you assess the feasibility and to obtain quotations please give us a call on 1300 978 073.