My photo

Bill St. Arnaud is a consultant and research engineer who works with clients around the world on a variety of subjects such as next generation Internet networks and developing practical solutions to reduce CO2 emissions such as free broadband and dynamic charging of eVehicles. He is an author of many papers and articles on these topics and is a frequent guest speaker. For more details on my research interests see

Friday, December 8, 2006

Case studies of how dark fiber benefits business

[NetFiber is an interesting company that provides a variety of dark fiber resources for companies and institutions. It offers tools to map the optimum network for a client's application and locations and provides a detailed map of the closest network to a client's location; identifies possible interconnection points and provides a desktop estimate for new construction. Their web site also a number of case studies on how enterprises have benefited from customer controlled and managed dark fiber. Some excerpst from their web site -- BSA]

Case Study | Law Firm

The Challenge
Connect an in-house data facility to an off-site datacenter with high-capacity bandwidth.

The law firm, headquartered in Boston, Mass., has six offices nationwide employing over 1,800 people from east coast to west coast.

Business Challenge
The firm needed high-speed data communications capability between their corporate headquarters and off-site datacenter facility both located in Boston, Mass. The connectivity needed to be reliable, scalable and cost- effective.

Network Solution
NEF sourced a cost-effective dark fiber solution for the firm. With access to numerous dark fiber networks in the Boston and Greater Boston area, NEF was able to secure the lease to existing fiber that allowed the firm to be operational with it's dark fiber connection in 30 days. The use of existing fiber virtually eliminated the cost and time required to construct new lateral connections.

The dark fiber option saves money over traditional lit services. With dark fiber's nearly unlimited bandwidth at a fixed cost, data needs can grow without paying for additional bandwidth from a lit service provider. As capacity needs grow, the termination equipment can be changed to meet new demands without having to pay additional monthly costs.

Reliability was an important consideration as well. Leasing dark fiber allows the customer to control the electronics used to provide the connection. There is never the need to wait for your service provider to resolve a problem. All maintenance and repairs, with the exception of restoring a physical break in the fiber, can be handled by the end user.

The Final Results

* 10 Gb connectivity at the price of a DS3
* Ability to run multiple systems across a common infrastructure
* Unlimited upgrade capability
* Low cost, high reliability solution

Case Study | Hosting Company

The Challenge
Connect a suburban hosting facility to a metropolitan carrier hotel with high-capacity bandwidth.

A web hosting company manages a datacenter in a suburban community. The provider offers shared hosting solutions, managed dedicated servers, shared ASP services and collocation.

Business Challenge
Web hosting is a very competitive market place and many of the buyers' decisions are based on price. One of the key factors for being a price leader is to be able to secure Internet bandwidth at a competitive price. The low-cost bandwidth providers are all located at the major telecommunications carrier hotels found in the metropolitan area. In order for this hosting company to get low cost bandwidth they had to purchase a circuit from the Local Exchange Carrier (LEC) which drove their cost of bandwidth above that of their competitors.

Network Solution
The hosting company was buying OC-12 SONET circuits from the LEC for roughly $20,000 month and purchasing bandwidth at the carrier hotel for $18 per meg. The total cost of bandwidth was $40 per meg. The growth of the company's bandwidth needs required them to purchase an OC12 every 120 days.

NEF did the research and provided a dark fiber solution for the hosting company. This solution allowed the hosting company to deploy a 10 Gigabit ring connecting the datacenter and the carrier hotel. After a capital investment of just under $100,000 for the construction of fiber laterals and Ethernet equipment, the monthly cost of the dark fiber ring was $12,000 month. The 10 Gb ring has the capacity of 16 OC12 circuits for a fraction of the cost of lit services.

The Final Results
The hosting provider's total bandwidth costs were now less than $20 per meg, less than half of their original costs, allowing them to be competitive in the hosting market.

"The escalating costs of bandwidth were really hurting our ability to remain cost competitive. The solution that NEF provided fit all of our needs and completely changed our cost structure for the better. When they say better, faster and cheaper, they mean it."