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January 04, 2014

Dark Fiber Week in Review



By Rory J. Thompson
Web Editor



The New Year brings renewed energy to many tech sectors, and dark fiber is certainly one of them.

While there are some areas of the country that are finding out that dark fiber and high speed Internet aren’t for them, others are still looking at the tech as the best way to build a positive business environment. The Morrison County (NJ) Record is reporting that it is one such area embracing dark fiber. Consolidated Telephone Company in Brainerd (News - Alert) has begun installing wide swatches of fiber optics in Little Falls, NJ. This is the second announcement in the last few days that the New York and New Jersey areas are getting new broadband fiber. The State of New York recently made it public that they are going to be rolling out some big time investments in fiber optics in 2014.  Little Falls is investing a rather significant amount itself, considering it is one city, as opposed to an entire state. The town has said it will be putting up more than $500,000 in order to get local businesses set up with better Internet connections and faster speeds. The newspaper reports that one specific business started the call for the dark fiber installation and other companies followed suit. Consolidated Telephone Company was the logical choice to handle the job because they understand the area and are already doing business in Little Falls.

Still, there is more work to be done. As the inventor of the Internet, the U.S. should not be lagging behind other countries when it comes to Internet speeds, but many factors make it difficult to make it No.1 overall. In an article on Webpronews.com, Zach Walton points out why the U.S. ranks lower than 34 countries around the world. Unlike Switzerland, Singapore or Barbados, which rank higher according to the 2013-2014 Global Competitiveness Report by the World Economic Forum, the U.S. covers a large mass, which makes it very difficult to have uniform speed across the country. While many large cities enjoy high Internet speeds, rural areas and underserved urban regions bring the average down dramatically, landing the U.S. at number 35 on a list of 148 countries.

Across the pond in the U.K., they get it. Residents of the United Kingdom believe strongly in the power of broadband, as evidenced by a new survey. In fact, 43 percent of respondents chose broadband as the best means of improving the country’s economic future, far outranking the second-place choice, power stations at 32 percent.

“The public have told us that supporting the e-economy by rolling out universal superfast broadband will have more economic benefits for the UK than more traditional infrastructure projects like increasing airport capacity or high speed rail,” said Will Stewart of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), which conducted the survey.

The IET reported that only 17 percent of survey respondents said building new airports would benefit the UK economy while 12 percent indicated they felt extra runways would provide a boost. Additionally, 16 percent felt the creation of a new high-speed railway would benefit the country.

“This survey clearly shows that the vast majority of the general public sees little economic benefit in increasing capacity at our airports,” Stewart said.

Be sure to check back regularly for more updates in the dark fiber arena.



 
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