Expensive Dark Fiber Becoming Cheap Lit Fiber

from the bandwidth-boost dept

During the last telco bubble, which was pretty closely related to the dot com bubble, one of the big speculative areas concerned just how much bandwidth was going to be needed -- leading to a number of companies spending billions on laying fiber optic cables all over the world. Of course, like plenty of other big infrastructure plays (remember Iridium?), these are incredibly risky ventures. You have to judge the market right, have the technology work properly and get the timing right -- all in a way to make sure you can get a return on a tremendous capital outlay. In the case of all this fiber, much of it has been laying "dark" over the last few years -- allowing some companies to snap it up cheaply (again, similar to Iridium). Of course, unlike Iridium, it seemed pretty obvious that eventually bandwidth needs would increase, and that dark fiber would become pretty handy. Om Malik reports that more and more dark fiber is being lit up, and the "bandwidth glut" is starting to decrease. There's even talk of laying more fiber across the Pacific. Still, it is interesting to see yet another case where a speculative boom funded the infrastructure that later becomes quite useful for pennies on the dollar. Update: And just like that, Level 3 has snapped up ICG's fiber.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    UCFmethod, Apr 17th, 2006 @ 12:33pm

    Nice

    I should scoop some up so I can get 100mbit up/down to my house, since it is 2006, and that should already be happening... FUCKING GREEDY TELECOM COMPANIES

     

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  2.  
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    Jason, Apr 17th, 2006 @ 12:53pm

    Hmm, how sad for you. I have 45mbps down, 5mbps up with FIOS.

     

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  3.  
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    Hobot, Apr 17th, 2006 @ 12:54pm

    Re: Nice

    Too bad the local loop isnt going to give you 100mbit even if you ask nicely

     

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  4.  
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    vmd, Apr 17th, 2006 @ 1:10pm

    Lucky you... My former employer used smoke signals.

     

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  5.  
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    Jimmy Z, Apr 17th, 2006 @ 1:20pm

    Re:

    Um...that's nice. FiOS and services that offer comperable performance are far from being widely available. Just because you have access and can enjoy that luxury doesn't mean it's the norm.

     

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  6.  
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    Rhett, Apr 17th, 2006 @ 1:46pm

    Who on earth needs 100mbps?...or even 45 unless you're a company? Find a website that will send its site to you at that speed...good luck. It's like owning a Lamborgini, it goes 200+mph, but I can't drive it that fast anywhere.

    Want to raise speeds? Stop using your cell phone as a primary phone for your house. The local phone companies lose money that way...they own the infrastructure. and when you don't give them minutes, the universal service fund doesn't get replenished and they can't afford upgrades.

    However, I have 45 mbps at home and work, and i could do all of the same things on 7 or 8 mbps. Greedy Telecos? how about greedy consumers.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Network Admin, Apr 17th, 2006 @ 1:50pm

    Re:

    Rhett - you obviously work for a Telecom

     

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  8.  
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    Tony Evans, Apr 17th, 2006 @ 1:56pm

    UK

    Come to the UK where the standard is 2mbps at about $25 per month and the majority are still on dial up!

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2006 @ 1:56pm

    Re:

    And, you obviously don't play many bandwidth hungry multiplayer games.

    Lag = Sucks

     

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  10.  
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    UCFmethod, Apr 17th, 2006 @ 2:07pm

    Basically

    If you think the telecoms are good, you are a fag and I will rob your house.

    If you think 100mbit up/down to your house is excessive, you are a fag and I will rob your house.

    There, is that ignorant enough for you Rhett!

     

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  11.  
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    g. thomas furgerson, Apr 17th, 2006 @ 2:07pm

    More bandwidth buy no increase in upload speed for

    Yeah, great more bandwidth, but until they make it symetric, it won't be a big deal. None of the ISPs, or Telecoms or Big Media want the user to be able to "serve" from home. Basically, no home storefronts without paying a hefty rent to them, even though, like your water and sewer, what comes in, should go out at the same speed, or it all ends up shitty for the consumer.

     

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  12.  
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    Aaron Friel, Apr 17th, 2006 @ 2:09pm

    Bandwidth Hungry Games

    Show me a game that requires 1mbps up or down and I'll show you a bridge that needs buying. Any takers?

     

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  13.  
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    Paul M, Apr 17th, 2006 @ 2:21pm

    it's not the cost of the fibre!

    the major cost of putting in trunk links over long distances whether over land or sea is not the cost of the fibre itself, it's the cost of laying trenches, or getting the fibre into a safe place on the sea bed; and then there's the amplifiers.

    thus, when the specialist companies who spool cables do it, it's always worth putting many more fibres in than will be necessary, especially to ensure that if there's damage you'll hav redundancy.

     

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  14.  
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    txjump, Apr 17th, 2006 @ 2:26pm

    Re: Rhett

    Who on earth needs 100mbps?...

    remember the day when people said, "Who on earth needs a 1 gig hard drive". ... uhm... times change and if you make it available, people WILL FIND WAYS to use it.

    and when the phone company can give me a POT without the all the add ons or forcing me into a "package steal" (oops deal) then i will get a line again. i actually want one but i refuse to pay those prices for services i dont want or need.

    and yes, i work in the telecom industry.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2006 @ 2:27pm

    Ah-Laa Chapter 1 of "The World is Flat". News flash, Berlin wall has come down.

     

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  16.  
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    Bill Gates, Apr 17th, 2006 @ 2:41pm

    Remember...

    I agree, 100Mb up/down is completely needless. Also nobody will ever need more than 640k RAM either.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2006 @ 2:45pm

    Rhett

    Greedy customer for not paying for crappy service and using a service that ties communication to a person rather than a dwelling?

    How can you boo hoo someone who sees a better value per dollar?

    I work in telco, and see this attitude all the time. The attitude itself will soon be extinct due to the fact that wireless is making leaps and bounds and the old "We have the pipe what're you gonna do about it" mentality is going to put my company out of business...

     

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  18.  
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    jerry, Apr 17th, 2006 @ 3:37pm

    Re: Rhett

    rhett you sound like your ready to retire....don't worry there will allways be a need for the telco's....

     

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  19.  
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    smokebreak, Apr 17th, 2006 @ 4:03pm

    Re: To All This Bandwith Deboggle

    You say no use for 100Mbit up/down streams.....I say Bah! I could use every bit of it and still desire more. I've always said I'd love a t-3 connection, and my fleet of outdated dinosaurs could tear it up........but oh, I've also been told that I couldn't make my friends top of the line 64 bit processor computer with 4 gigs of ram bog down either.
    Give me the power and I'll put it to good use....oh, but that would put me on the RIAA radar though Doh!!!!!

     

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  20.  
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    denfro licious, Apr 17th, 2006 @ 4:14pm

    Re: Remember...

    "Nobody" eh?

    Sorry folks, ILM and Pixar just announced that they are going out of business...

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Tony, Apr 17th, 2006 @ 4:26pm

    Botnets

    Im sure that most unpatched xp boxes out there would gobble up 100meg up down, just offering me viagra, pills, and porn. Then theres the boobs.jpg.exe files i see so often.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2006 @ 4:37pm

    "If you think the telecoms are good, you are a fag and I will rob your house. "

    UCFmethod, that's the funniest thing I've read all day. :)

    Thanks for the laugh.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Joseph the Pizza break, Apr 17th, 2006 @ 4:38pm

    Mr. Pickles

    I'm gonna go get some pizza then breakdance for a few hours. After that who know's what's gonna happen! (maybe I'll read a book or two)

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    calidan, Apr 17th, 2006 @ 5:13pm

    What a waste

    My parents live in rural Missouri and wanted a second line added for use of dial-up. Sprint buried FIOS along the road just to add this second line. What a waste that they cannot use it to its full potential.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    UCFmethod, Apr 17th, 2006 @ 5:17pm

    HAHAHA

    What am I a fucking comedian! Am I hear to amuse you, like I am some clown or something! HAHA

    Just kidding. I just love to get these geeks all wired up because I myself am one and I would definitely find a use for 100mbit up/down

    >UCFmethod, that's the funniest thing I've read all day. :)

    >Thanks for the laugh.

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    ehrichweiss, Apr 17th, 2006 @ 5:53pm

    Re:

    "Who on earth needs 100mbps?"

    sounds an awful lot like...

    "640K ought to be enough for anybody."
    which apparently was NOT attributed to Bill Gates as has been rumored.

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    badhat, Apr 17th, 2006 @ 6:16pm

    Holy Crap

    Your computer no matter how highspeed it is can't even swallow 100Mbps let alone send it. An easy assumption would be 6-8Mbps continuously. So the telco could tell you that they are giving you 100Mbps or even 1Gbps and you would be none the wiser and would have no way to test it.

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    TheMajor, Apr 17th, 2006 @ 6:50pm

    The Sticks

    Try living in a Co-op area...F#$ked doesn't even begin to describe the raping these highly protected monopolies do every day. Try this....$35 for a POTS line, caller id will cost you an extra $5 per month. $69 for 756K/128K DSL (if you live close to a relay) I'm lucky if I get 400K down. They close at 4pm every day and tech support....my 4 year old knows more about computers. I miss civilization...I think I'll move back....

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    al, Apr 17th, 2006 @ 8:00pm

    100 MB need here

    yes not one pc can use up to 100MB but i have over 10 pc at my house that 6 to 8 mb each. i can use it up fast.

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Dreamstarter, Apr 17th, 2006 @ 9:06pm

    Telco vs 100MBps

    Telco have been slow in catching up with the rest of the world and with technology period, they are a few steps ahead of the goverment. Problem is that they have been kept back and not allowed to grow further for to long. 100mb maybe to much, but it would not be to difficult to create a wide ranged network nation wide to allow 100mb at flat rate, much like having insurance to drive, if you live in a house/apartment/etc, BOOM, broadband included. much like broadband over powerlines. It will happen, but only at their pace.

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    badhat, Apr 17th, 2006 @ 10:52pm

    ....

    -------
    100 MB need here by al on Apr 17th, 2006 @ 8:00pm

    yes not one pc can use up to 100MB but i have over 10 pc at my house that 6 to 8 mb each. i can use it up fast.
    --------

    Out of curiousity.. what would you have these 10 pc's doing?

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    Chris, Apr 18th, 2006 @ 12:22am

    Re:

    Bit off topic, but about the car... Unless you're a tool or a rap star, if you spend that kind of money on a car you also buy track time, join the SCCA, the owner's club, etc. etc. And in those cases you can drive the car properly. Of corse most people buy Lamborghinis to impress, not to drive. It's a pig of a car really. Much better to have a vintage Ferrari in my opinion.

    I'm not sure what individuals would buy 100mbps connections for or who they would impress. Though a few years down the road I can see wanting 100mbps to download a high definition movie off of iTunes.

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    Scott, Apr 18th, 2006 @ 6:33am

    Re:

    You are right, I can't find one website, but I can download from 10 without taking a perfomance hit. I would love more speed.

     

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  34.  
    identicon
    Chris, Apr 18th, 2006 @ 10:27am

    Like Al said, it is easy to use the 100Mbps if you have multiple computers in your house, we have 5 so far and I will be adding more. If you just have one computer, it is pointless for that type of connection but I would be able to put it to use.

     

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  35.  
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    Agonizing Fury, Apr 18th, 2006 @ 12:35pm

    And connect them to What?

    I suppose when you get that 100Mbps service, that you are sharing between 10 computers, that you expect your $80 Linksys router with a 300MHz Processor, and 32MB of Ram to be able to Route and switch packets at that speed? Most home routers can's even keep up with a fast (8Mbps) cable connection.

     

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  36.  
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    garfalk, May 5th, 2006 @ 7:08pm

    rhett

    besides multiplayer games there are those 6 gigs of pr0n that i download daily. that eats up my cable so fast i can't even load a new webpage without slowing down the rot.

     

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  37.  
    identicon
    Tony, Nov 8th, 2006 @ 4:55am

    I am gona go get some pizzza then breakdance for a few hours. After that who know's what's gonna happen! (maybe I will read a book or two)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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