What is the Difference Between Dark Fiber and Lit Fiber?

Lit Fiber Optics

When it comes to fiber optic cables, you’ll often hear people toss around terms like “lit fiber” and “dark fiber.” However, you might not be sure what these terms mean or how they might affect you if you rely on fiber optic cables to deliver data to your home or business. With more and more people depending on fiber optic cables, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with lit fiber and dark fiber and to gain a better understanding for what makes them different. Continue reading to learn more about lit fiber vs. dark fiber.

What is lit fiber?

Lit fiber refers to a fiber optic infrastructure that is currently in use. Lit fiber networks utilize light pulses to transmit data through fiber optic cables that contain thin strands of glass in them. Lit fiber networks are installed and operated by a service provider in most cases. Nonetheless, there are many times when the owners of lit fiber networks will lease their fiber optic cables out to others so that they can use them. At any rate, the important thing to remember is that lit fiber networks are active and currently being used to transmit data.

What is dark fiber?

Dark Fiber Optics

Dark fiber refers to a fiber optic infrastructure that is not currently in use. While the fiber optic cables in lit fiber networks constantly have light pulses streaming through them and carrying data around, the cables in dark fiber networks don’t have any light pulses passing through them and are sitting dormant for the most part. Just like lit fiber networks, dark fiber ones are often owned by service providers who took the time to put fiber optic cables into the ground to create them. Nevertheless, these dark fiber networks are not utilized by the service provider or anyone else at the moment.

What are the advantages of utilizing lit fiber?

When most home and business owners are looking to tap into the power of fiber optics, they choose to use lit fiber networks to do it. They get in touch with their local telecommunications company and express their interest in getting connected to a lit fiber network. They take this approach because it’s the most convenient way to go. They’re able to start sending and receiving data right away through fast and reliable fiber optic cables, and they don’t have to worry about maintaining any of the equipment involved with a lit fiber network. Their service provider will be in charge of doing that. It makes utilizing lit fiber a great option for many home and business owners.

What are the advantages of utilizing dark fiber?

It wouldn’t make sense for a single homeowner or even a group of homeowners to look into utilizing dark fiber networks. But there are some larger businesses that are starting to investigate the idea of putting dark fiber networks to good use. These businesses see the potential in leasing unused fiber optic cables from service providers and using them to their benefit. When they’re able to work out a deal with service providers and lease dark fiber, they can enjoy increased speeds as far as transmitting data is concerned. They can also make security a bigger priority and save money over the long run when they choose to use dark fiber that already exists as opposed to paying to use lit fiber or installing fiber optic cables on their own.

Is lit fiber or dark fiber right for you?

Fiber Optic Technology

There are a lot of companies throughout the country that are having the lit fiber vs. dark fiber debate. Many tend to use lit fiber networks simply because of the convenience associated with doing it. Nonetheless, others are looking into dark fiber further as a viable option, especially once they find out how much dark fiber exists in their general area. Your company should at least consider both sides of the argument to see which one would be the right choice for you.

In theory, lit fiber and dark fiber are pretty easy to understand. But at Connected Fiber, we realize that those who don’t work in the fiber optic space often get confused when discussing the two. If you would like to get additional information on them and learn about the advantages associated with each of them, we would love to talk to you more about lit fiber and dark fiber. We would also love to set you up with the fiber optic services your company needs. Call us at 910-443-0532 to get started.

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