I am delighted to read articles like this even if they do not get every detail right. What the author is advocating is open-access fiber infrastructure not “dark fiber.” In a sense I’m mincing words because the two are essentially the same but the author is implying that the consumer could do something with that fiber when actually a service provider needs to add electronics to it so the customer could interface to the network. Also “dark fiber” alone does not guarantee low latency. It is the network elements that have a greater impact on latency. Still I am glad to see people talking about increasing residential competition instead of adding regulation to keep the status quo.
With broadband speeds newly defined as starting at 25 Mbps, as opposed to the archaic 4 Mbps definition, what happens if you now no longer have residential broadband? And what do you do if, to add insult to injury, your ISP ups its prices?
Well, the answer is that you pretty much do nothing. There isn’t anything you can do. The ISP, in most cases, has a monopoly — a duopoly at best. If you want uncapped Internet, however jerky the video, you’ve got to use that hard-wired ISP.
But that might soon be changing. The reason: dark fiber.
Dark fiber is the term coined for private fiber networks often used for financial transactions. They’re usually networks that are not owned by telcos and cable companies.
And there’s lots of it around, much of which is barely used because oftentimes not all the strands are provisioned.