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December 14, 2013

Dark Fiber Community Week in Review

By Rory J. Thompson
Web Editor

As more users demand high-speed connections, the Dark Fiber community continues to grow exponentially. Let’s look at some of the past week’s news.

Google (News - Alert) Fiber, the ultra high-speed Internet network that already exists in certain communities like Kansas City and Provo, Utah, is set to challenge the next hurdle for being integrated in Austin, Texas. Fiber offers speeds of up to one gigabit for uploads and downloads, which is unheard of when compared with other Internet service providers. Slower (but still competitive) Internet speeds are provided to residents of a Fiber-ready city free of charge.

In order to be used in the city of Austin, which is already an up and coming hub for technology, Google plans on using the existing telephone poles operated by AT&T (News - Alert). This proposal has angered officials at AT&T, who don't want to be forced by the city into sharing the infrastructure that they have worked so hard to establish. City officials claim that having the two companies share the poles will be best for the city however, since it would minimize construction disruptions to traffic and infrastructure as Google installs the cables. The decision will be settled by the Austin City Council.

As companies all over the world realize the salient benefits of Ethernet services, providers are coming up with newer plans and services to help their customers. Timico, the business Internet, hosting and communications service provider, has recently added two new Ethernet products that are delivered over copper or via a direct fiber optic connection. Metro Ethernet is one among the newly introduced products that offer a high speed fiber connectivity service with speeds of 50Mbps. This product is currently available in London, Manchester and Birmingham in the U.K. for $399 a month or 100Mbps for a $449 a month. The other product on the list is National Ethernet, which includes high speed fiber connectivity with 50Mbps speeds for $599 a month or 100Mbps for $749 a month.

Copper land lines are at serious risk for soon being discontinued. One recent report said that since 2000, when there were 186 million land lines in the United States, some 100 million copper lines were disconnected. Many residents have opted for cell phones or Internet-based phone service, and it was predicted by U.S. Telecom earlier this year that in just a few weeks, with the start of the new year, only one in four U.S. residences will even use a copper land line.

Be sure to check back daily for more news of the Dark Fiber Community.

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