Economic Development

Dark Optical Fiber Can Help Communities Extend Their Digital Reach

For most of the United States, optical fiber is what brings the Internet to our door. But the big providers like Charter/Spectrum, AT&T, and T-Mobile don’t offer Internet to rural areas because expanding out that far is too expensive—the revenue per square mile doesn’t justify it. This is a growing issue in rural America, where the “digital divide” keeps getting wider. But there are different ways to use existing or available tech to safely connect a community to the Internet, and creative people find creative answers. One of these answers can be an existing technology that is often overlooked: optical fiber, which is called “dark fiber” when it isn’t being used.

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