Best Dark Fiber Providers in the US

Dark fiber is an  infrastructure that can’t yet run services. Other than sending data via light wavelengths, the rest of the dark fibers are waiting to be used. Dark fiber is not just for service providers. Businesses are buying it more often now than before. Dark fiber gives your business the abilities to meet the needs of your customers in the future because it has increased bandwidth and reduced latency. While setting up a dark fiber system can seem overwhelming at first, finding an experienced provider can help you get started and guide you through the process. In this guide we go over several dark fiber providers we can connect you with.

Dark Fiber ProviderAvailable In
Official Verizon Corporate Web site | About VerizonVerizon Dark Fiber NetworksNYC, Washington, San Francisco
Zayo Group - Wikipedia Zayo Dark Fiber Network NYC, Washington, San Francisco, Toronto
Crown Castle Donates $1 Million to UNCF; CEO Jay Brown Matches It - UNCFCrown Castle Dark FiberNYC, New Jersey, Boston, Washington, So.Cal
Lightpath Announces Entrance Into Queens, NYC Market With New Network BuildsLightpath FiberBoston, New York, Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, Ashburn VA, Philadelphia 

Verizon Dark Fiber Networks

If your company needs to go beyond the offered fiber optic television choices and long-distance services of traditional providers, Verizon’s Unbundled (“UNE”) Dark Fiber could be just what you’re looking for. UNE Dark Fiber consists of a spare continuous strand between two accessible terminals within an existing terminated fiber optic cable sheath. It is unlit and has no light transmitting equipment attached; it features only two strands (a one pair). One downside of this service provider is fiber is unavailable where in-place spare facilities exist, this service can still be accessed at existing industry standard fiber distribution frames or panels but subject to availability as noted above.

Zayo Dark Fiber Network

Zayo Dark Fiber gives you access to state-of-the-art dark fiber networking. Creating diversity in your network, Zayo Dark Fiber guarantees that your bandwidth is totally separate from other traffic, so you can prevent bottlenecks and have finely tuned all the while being connected to the fastest internet speed technology available.

Available In: 

  • New York
  • Washington DC 
  • San Francisco 
  • Toronto 

Crown Castle Dark Fiber Network 

Crown Castle Dark Fiber is ideal for large organizations with advanced networking needs and in-house IT for easier network management. Crown Castle is the largest dark fiber network provider in the world. Benefits of Crown Castle include unlimited bandwidth, high-speed connections, the high levels of security and disaster recovery capabilities that enable data to be backed up at any instant.  

Available in: 

  • New York/New Jersey
  • New York/Connecticut 
  • Boston
  • Washington DC
  • Southern California 

Lightpath Fiber 

Lightpath Fiber is a dark fiber provider with thousands of miles of fiber and service locations. When you need dark fiber for your network goals, work with an engineering team to help determine routes and strand options from which to choose. Add optronics to endpoints when desired, or use as part of a larger topology.

Available In:

  • Boston
  • New York
  • Chicago, Dallas
  • Atlanta
  • Ashburn VA
  • Philadelphia 

What is a Dark Fiber Network?

Dark fiber is typically used by enterprises and large corporations to transmit data from one location to another. Dark fiber networks use optical technology for long distance connections which can be as much as 70 kilometers (43 miles) in length – but it should not be confused with a regular optical connection, like what you use at home or work.

This type of transmission method has low latency, no errors, high security, fast speeds and the ability to carry more than just light signals on its cable. With this flexibility available via dark fiber networks, they are commonly deployed in metropolitan areas where land space is limited or when building owners don’t want their premises cluttered up by lots of cables.

A company may have several networks across different regions, but what if they want to connect them? This is where dark fiber comes in. If a company has two networks spanning the distance between New York and London, it may be more cost-effective to use one long cable that can transmit information through light signals at high speeds than using several short cables or data lines with regular connections.

How Much Does Dark Fiber Cost? 

Dark Fiber can be substantially more expensive than what you might expect for regular fiber. The cost of dark fiber largely depends on the distance between locations. Many providers charge up to $1000 per mile, as opposed to only a few hundred dollars per mile for lit services. Factors that can affect costs include what type of technology is used, what types of equipment are needed to operate the network, and what distance will be covered. – Some providers offer dark fiber on a “shared” basis with multiple users in an area sharing a common pool of bandwidth capacity. This shared arrangement can lower costs for all parties by splitting up the cost among different customers.

Dark Fiber vs Lit Fiber

 Dark fiber is usually used for high capacity Internet access. The main advantage of dark fiber vs lit fiber is that it requires less power to operate. Dark fiber also doesn’t require any light from an external source to transmit a signal over long distances whereas lit optics do – which can come with its own set of problems. Lit optical cables generally run at longer wavelengths making them sensitive to noise interference as well as other environmental factors like rain or snow. Dark fiber also uses a system of directional lasers to transmit data at specific points with each segment requiring power only when transmitting information – making them what’s known as “passive optical networks” or PONs which means they require less maintenance and allow for greater bandwidth than lit optics that can be damaged by even small amounts of interference like raindrops. 

What is a Dark Fiber Lease? 

A dark fiber lease is what you get when a company rents out an unused portion of another company’s network. The agreement between the lessor and lessee where the leased fibers may be in either lit or unlit condition (lit means it has been set up for use).

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