25 April 2014

Chris Pickles

Chris Pickles - Consultant

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Dark fibre

12 June 2007  |  1609 views  |  0

Maybe if “dark fibre” wasn’t called “dark”, it wouldn’t sound so - dark, like something out of Star Wars used by Darth Vader to strangle his enemies with.  Maybe if it was called “Beige Fibre” it wouldn’t attract so much attention.

Sensing a wave of marketing euphoria coming on in the media, and feeling sure that underlying technology had not changed that much while I’d been off at Niagara Falls for the day, I decided to ask one of our “deep tech” people what the difference was between fibre and dark fibre.  He gave me that usual look of disbelief that we in marketing roles expect to see on the faces of our more technical colleagues, and replied “Dark fibre is just fibre that’s not been lit yet”.

Like the difference between a light-bulb and a lit light-bulb.

But if you aren’t using the light-bulb yourself, you can sell it to someone who needs one, and then they can light it.

Even simple enough for me to understand!  “Is dark fibre faster than just fibre”, I asked.

A similar look of disbelief.  “No – Einstein’s theory of relativity still applies to dark fibre in the same way that it does to normal fibre or copper cable or to your old Mini – nothing can make things go faster than the speed of light”.

“So nothing sexy about dark fibre then?” I asked, just to make sure that I had not missed some significant point.  “Nope”, came the response, “it’s not what you’ve got, but what you do with it.”

Aha, I thought, so there is some secret that the Minions of Technology are keeping close to their chests – some sleight-of-hand that is known only to Those Who Understand.  “It’s not what you’ve got, it’s what you do with it.”

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