Not too long ago, Managed Optical Fiber Networks were only for the few, the massive global organizations with mammoth amounts of data they needed to transport. These organizations also realized that although they were not in the business of managing networks, they wanted to control their networks.   

Today, the much touted and talked about digital transformation is here and organizations are embracing the possibilities while trying to build solutions that can scale when needed. There’s a perfect storm of sorts that has opened the door for dedicated fiber networks to become a feasible option for large corporations, public institutions and federal agencies who would not have considered this an option four to five years ago. Here’s what’s brewing:

  • Data Increasing – Massive amounts of data need to be transported, and spikes are sometimes difficult to predict and need a network that can scale as needed.
  • Increasing Threat Landscape – Customers say “securing the network” is a major priority. Managed Optical Fiber Networks are private—not shared—networks.
  • Low Latency Requirements – Low latency is essential for many organizations and managed optical fiber networks deliver to this requirement.
  • Convenience of Converged Infrastructure – Many organizations have acquired multiples of high bandwidth shared services, such as wavelengths and private lines, from various carriers and want to streamline their networks for reduced costs and ease of management.

A recent Frost & Sullivan report explains why organizations are turning to dark fiber to meet their network requirements: “By leasing dark fiber, enterprises have the entire fiber pair dedicated to themselves, which they can choose to light up as and when required, based on bandwidth needs. Their investment is driven by the need to: 1) gain access to unlimited bandwidth capacity; 2) retain full control over the network; and 3) manage their technology evolution, such as custom interfaces for data center connectivity.”[i]

While some organizations move to dark fiber and elect to build and manage the network themselves, others do not want to construct the network, select and install the equipment and train their people to become experts on managing and maintaining this critically important network 24/7/365.  This is when a managed optical fiber network comes into consideration.

CenturyLink Managed Optical Fiber Network Solutions are comprised of three components:

  • Dedicated Fiber: This is “dark” fiber, sold by indefeasible right of use (IRU) or leased to the customer.
  • Dedicated Equipment: This is hardware of your choice, purchased directly from the vendor, a VAR or CenturyLink.
  • Management by a Professional Services team: This team is composed of three foundational Pro Services capabilities:
    • Consulting & Implementation-project management and governance, network migrations, technology conversions, network architecture and design, equipment recommendations and engineering specs from a team of experts
    • Monitoring and Management-Professional Services Control Center is a separate network operations center (NOC) for Managed Optical Fiber Network customers. An elite team manages each NOC 24/7/365
    • Field Services-Dedicated field organization of network support personnel available 24/7/365

Technology executives who are ready to explore the managed optical fiber network option need to weigh the costs of outsourcing the construction (if needed), equipment installation, management and maintenance versus doing it themselves. Costs include training for multiple functions and having multiple teams available who can easily access the network around the clock. If the decision is made to go with a managed fiber network, it is important to select a dark fiber provider that has deep experience building and managing multiple dedicated fiber networks. This is essential to protect and leverage the investment in a modern, scalable network.

Our customers tell us making the move to a Managed Optical Fiber Network Solution is a “sea change” that results in a modern and secure network that can provide a strong competitive position and a better customer experience that they control.

CenturyLink bring years of experience building and managing private fiber networks for some of the largest global companies in the world– and can design a solution with your unique business objectives in mind. Ed Morche, President of CenturyLink’s Strategic Enterprise and Government Markets, shares his thoughts on why customers are moving to managed optical fiber network in this Fierce Telecom article.

Getting your own network is no longer out of reach: Contact a CenturyLink Solution Architect to schedule a consultation today.

[i] “Dark Fiber is Shining Bright – What is Driving its Resurgence?” Frost & Sullivan, March 2016. http://www.frost.com/sublib/display-report.do?id=A314-00-8C-00-00


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