Optical Fiber in Search of Users

Even though close to 100 million miles of optical fiber has been laid around the word in the last two years, only 5% of the fiber in the ground is currently being utilized, reported the New York Times in a recent issue.

08/08/2001


Even though close to 100 million miles of optical fiber has been laid around the word in the last two years, only 5% of the fiber in the ground is currently being utilized, reported the New York Times in a recent issue.

The problem is that despite the availability of optical fiber capable of transporting tremendous amounts of data, there is a big shortage of the local-access connections required to gain access to the World Wide Web.

"There may be a significant amount of dark fiber in the ground, but it takes a lot more money to light fiber than to lay it and even more to deliver it to the end-user," said Howard E. Janzen, who runs the Tulsa, Okla.-based fiber-optic network giant Williams Communications.

The Times compared the situation to the post-Civil War railroad boom where speculators built rail lines, but often left it up to local towns to build roads to the stations.

"Today it's the responsibility of the capital markets to fund construction of all parts of the [fiber-optic] network, and suddenly, it's not clear whether investors will continue to do so," said Brian Kinard, a venture capitalist based in San Francisco, as quoted in the Times .





No comments
Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
BIM coordination; MEP projects; NFPA 13; Data center Q&A; Networked lighting controls; 2017 Product of the Year finalists
Emergency lighting; NFPA 3 and 4; Integrated building systems; Smart lighting, HVAC design
Designing for energy efficiency; Understanding and applying NFPA 101 for mission critical facilities; Integrating commissioning and testing for fire alarm systems; Optimizing unitary pumping solutions
Tying a microgrid to the smart grid; Paralleling generator systems; Previewing NEC 2017 changes
Driving motor efficiency; Preventing Arc Flash in mission critical facilities; Integrating alternative power and existing electrical systems
Putting COPS into context; Designing medium-voltage electrical systems; Planning and designing resilient, efficient data centers; The nine steps of designing generator fuel systems
As brand protection manager for Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Tom Grace oversees counterfeit awareness...
Amara Rozgus is chief editor and content manager of Consulting-Specifier Engineer magazine.
IEEE power industry experts bring their combined experience in the electrical power industry...
Michael Heinsdorf, P.E., LEED AP, CDT is an Engineering Specification Writer at ARCOM MasterSpec.
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
click me