Top things to consider when choosing a Dark Fibre provider

Selecting any new technology or service provider can sometimes feel like you’re trying to navigate a maze. This is particularly true when it comes to finding a Dark Fibre provider that can offer everything you are looking for – and at a competitive price.

The good news is there are some key things you can look for, to help you review the market.

Firstly, location is critical. You’ll need a network that has reach that extends where you need it. Find out how big the provider’s fibre network is and if the infrastructure is already in place where you have the connectivity requirement. Otherwise you’ll have to wait for new ducting to be laid and this can have additional costs.

Having datacentre connectivity is also important. Ask your provider which datacentres its network is already connected to. This is also a good opportunity to ask about network resiliency.

The service you choose will need to be reliable and secure, so reviewing the provider’s SLAs is important. You should also ask to see availability stats for the previous 12 months to establish service availability. And don’t forget to ask about what service and support is offered, as you’ll need to be sure they are able to provide the level of support you need, when you need it.

And finally, find out what the average on-net provisioning time is, so you know how long it takes to get set up.

The main advice I’d give is to ask lots of questions. Most Dark Fibre products can look very similar on the face of it, so you need to dig a little deeper to discover the real service differentiation and what would work best for your business needs.

To see some of The Loop’s key dark fibre stats – including network reach, service availability and SLAs – view our infographic here.