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 .





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.
How to use IPD; 2017 Commissioning Giants; CFDs and harmonic mitigation; Eight steps to determine plumbing system requirements
2017 MEP Giants; Mergers and acquisitions report; ASHRAE 62.1; LEED v4 updates and tips; Understanding overcurrent protection
Integrating electrical and HVAC for energy efficiency; Mixed-use buildings; ASHRAE 90.4; Wireless fire alarms assessment and challenges
Power system design for high-performance buildings; mitigating arc flash hazards
Transformers; Electrical system design; Selecting and sizing transformers; Grounded and ungrounded system design, Paralleling generator systems
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; VFDs in high-performance buildings
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.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me