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  1. #1

    Question Dark fiber and wavelength costs?

    Hopefully someone can help, I've been asked to put together a "sort of" proposal, for a possible project (I say possible as it depends on how much money is required to get going).

    Were looking at deploying equipment across multiple locations (by design for redundancy), in carrier hotels near/at the major peering points in the US and Europe (cheaper than building our own data centres from scratch).

    I can't really say what the end result of the project will be but what I can say is that it will require the use of a private IP network to link the equipment locations together.

    Thus the reason for the thread title.

    I'm mainly looking for *ball park* figures for metro and long haul dark fibre and wavelength costs, in order to run 10gbps equipment.

    Also a list of providers and contacts would be a nice bonus.

    To pre-empt possible questions:
    I know this is going to cost a lot so please don’t say so.

    Were are *not* looking to lay our own fibre but are open to the idea as an idea and don't mind ball park figures based on using in place leased conduit.

  2. #2
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    To give you an example:
    We recently used supplier X to connect two datacenters in London from point A to point B. The cost came to over £250,000 PA with a pretty large installation fee. This was connecting two DCs within London approximately 10-12 miles apart.
    To give you another example:
    We used supplier X to connect a London DC to a Manchester DC (approximately 230miles apart) and the cost for a long haul non-redundant fiber was in the region of £800,000 to £1,200,000 PA.

    We have used supplier X in the past to connect New York to London however this was approximatley 3 years ago and the pricing was pretty reasonable I am not sure on the current pricing but I suspect it has risen dramatically.
    Do you know what point A and B are? or are you looking to find datacenters that fit within certain locations/criteria?
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    So to clarify this is a nationwide effort - you are trying to hit the datacenters in San Jose, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, New York, Ashburn, Atlanta, etc., and link it all together?

    The EQUIPMENT cost for dark fiber will be in the tens of millions, and the monthly will be in the millions.

    Metro fiber is in the $5k+ per month depending on distance, location, availability

    Waves of course will depend on capacity. Ballpark for 2.5 gig waves are $25k cross country (LAX to NYC, SJC to IAD) and $5k for 'local' (SJC to LAX, NYC to IAD)
    plus carrier hotel cross-connect fees, taxes, etc.

  4. #4
    cabalstudios -
    Thanks for the examples.

    Dennis -
    Yes nationwide in the US as you stated and similar in Europe. I assume that the wave cost is yearly, would I be right in saying that ball park 10 gbps wave would be 4x 2.5 gbps in cost.

  5. #5
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    I assume that the wave cost is yearly, would I be right in saying that ball park 10 gbps wave would be 4x 2.5 gbps in cost.

    No, that is monthly cost. 10 gbps waves are closer to 3x 2.5 gbps waves

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by cabalstudios
    We recently used supplier X to connect two datacenters in London from point A to point B. The cost came to over £250,000 PA with a pretty large installation fee. This was connecting two DCs within London approximately 10-12 miles apart.
    Sounds quite reasonable.
    I was given a quotation in October for conecting a potential location for a facility in London to Telehouse East and North over redundant routes. Total distance 7.2km, cost £345k pa
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Nugent
    The EQUIPMENT cost for dark fiber will be in the tens of millions, and the monthly will be in the millions.
    We'll take that to mean you've never actually sold longhaul dark fiber.

    Carriers are not, and have not been for at least a couple of years, in the business of selling true dark fiber. These days the RRR process is handled in cable huts on the side of railroad tracks by the carriers themselves. You couldn't do your own RRR on a strand of longhaul DF on any deal made in 2007 even if you wanted to. Further, your contention about the monthly recurring cost is way off. By going dark as opposed to wavelength, you're asking the carrier not to buy any DWDM/OADM gear because you'll supply your own. The cost of a dark IRU should not be any more than double or triple that of a single wave. But don't take my word for it; go sell some DF and show us the invoice when you do.

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  9. #9
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    Do you want a contact in Above.net and Wiltel? You may as well ask them directly. They should be able to get you a ballpark figure.

  10. #10
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    Cogent's Layer 2 transport product will allow you to create a fully meshed national network for a very reasonable rate (~$1000/mo per FE port iirc). You only need to spend a $5 - 20k at the most for a router at each location.

    Your total cost could be as low as $7000 MRC and $35,000 NRC.

  11. #11
    IRCCo Jeff -

    I'll take a look into it, although I'm not sure if it would give the same flexibility as dark fibre would. For example if we installed DWDM equipment we could get up to 160 channels of 10gbps (depending on the DWDM equipment used and the fibre).

    Mfjp -
    I was looking a long the lines of who (company name) and their website address (I should have said it in my original port, sorry).

    Everyone else thank you for your input.

  12. #12
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    Don't forget, that you'll need to amplify each of those 160 channels every X miles (X depends on the fiber the the transmit power) as usually with Dark Fiber amplification is your problem not the providers AFAIK (Only ever dealt with shorter runs that weren't out of reach of your standard GBICs/XPAKs etc).
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  13. #13
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    I don't get it, in that first you say you don't want to spend the money on data centers, then you go and talk about buying dark fiber. Surely renting a small cage in each location and buying a gigabit feed will be much cheaper than building out your own DF capability?

    Remember if the DF breaks or is cut, or the equipment has problems, it will be up to YOU to get a repair truck rolling in whichever location the problem occurs. This means you have to rent, buy, or hire upwards of $20-50K in equipment at each location - OTDR, splicing tools, spare parts. And have people trained to use them available to you. Of course, say a bundle of fibers gets cut by a backhoe - if you are contracting out the work, $bigco is going to get priority over you with that contractor.

    Be sure that you factor in these other costs (repair man and equipment), then double those costs at least, to cover unexpected costs.

    In spite of all that, having your own fiber is the ultimate in moving up the food chain in this business.

  14. #14
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    Keep in mind, there is a difference in having your own fiber network and having dark fiber. With dark fiber, your strands are just a few of the many in the cables and conduits of the carrier. If you buy dark fiber today, the carrier will likely be responsible for any fiber cuts, etc. Why would they not? If a train derails and cuts up fiber conduit, the carrier is dispatching it's staff/contractors to fix it.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrZillNet
    I don't get it, in that first you say you don't want to spend the money on data centers, then you go and talk about buying dark fiber. Surely renting a small cage in each location and buying a gigabit feed will be much cheaper than building out your own DF capability?
    The original poster indicated he needs 10 gigabit ethernet transport capacity.

    Remember if the DF breaks or is cut, or the equipment has problems, it will be up to YOU to get a repair truck rolling in whichever location the problem occurs.
    I don't have a clue what you're talking about; do you? Dark fiber == bought from a carrier == fiber cuts are their problem, not yours.

    Quote Originally Posted by KDAWebServices
    Don't forget, that you'll need to amplify each of those 160 channels every X miles
    You make it sound like there are 160 discrete regens involved; there aren't. As I already pointed out above, regen (in this hemisphere anyway) is the responsibility of the carrier; you couldn't do it yourself even if you wanted to.

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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by savvypro
    I'll take a look into it, although I'm not sure if it would give the same flexibility as dark fibre would. For example if we installed DWDM equipment we could get up to 160 channels of 10gbps (depending on the DWDM equipment used and the fibre).
    Considering you need to maintain at least 15GHz separation between channels to avoid optical beat interference, not only would you have to buy ultra-precise optics (read:not cheap) but you'd need the finest glass that Corning / Mohawk can make to achieve 160 channel density of 10gbps service. Even assuming massive funding based on the premise of starting this thread, I find it hard to believe you'd be buying equipment beyond the carrier-class 32 and 64 lambda options on the market today.

    Quote Originally Posted by tical
    Dark fiber == bought from a carrier == fiber cuts are their problem, not yours.
    It's not necessarily that straight forward. Since the carrier has no visibility to your strand of the cable path, convincing them of issues is even more difficult than calling in standard circuit problems. Since you usually get billed at an outrageous rate for fiber troubleshooting that points back to your equipment, it makes sense for most dark fiber customers to procure the tools and develop the skillsets necessary for troubleshooting path issues.

    Quote Originally Posted by tical
    You make it sound like there are 160 discrete regens involved; there aren't.
    Not 160, but more than one. Your standard DWDM systems are broken down into bands, with each band containing 4 lambdas/channels. I don't need to install an optical mux for every band at each location, so there exists the potential for pass-through bands to require more amplification than those bands that are being terminated and regenerated at a site. As such, DWDM optical amplifiers are tunable for amplification at the band level, and in some cases down to the band and individual channel level. You might patch into 1 single piece of gear, but you still have the work of tuning amplification for discrete frequency groupings.

    Quote Originally Posted by tical
    As I already pointed out above, regen (in this hemisphere anyway) is the responsibility of the carrier; you couldn't do it yourself even if you wanted to.
    That's pretty much what I've found; you can buy lambda (ie Qwest's Qwave or ATT's Ultravailable product) but you can't buy raw unlit fiber.
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  17. #17
    Last year we were looking at a wave quote from what was then Wiltel, the setup on the circuit was just shy of $20k, and the monthly was $33 per mile. I doubt you can get that from Level3 anymore, but it might be possible. Technically as long as you have the right wavelength as the DWDM equipment is looking for you should be able to repeat your signal to just about anywhere without degredation.

    $.02


    Quote Originally Posted by savvypro
    Hopefully someone can help, I've been asked to put together a "sort of" proposal, for a possible project (I say possible as it depends on how much money is required to get going).

    Were looking at deploying equipment across multiple locations (by design for redundancy), in carrier hotels near/at the major peering points in the US and Europe (cheaper than building our own data centres from scratch).

    I can't really say what the end result of the project will be but what I can say is that it will require the use of a private IP network to link the equipment locations together.

    Thus the reason for the thread title.

    I'm mainly looking for *ball park* figures for metro and long haul dark fibre and wavelength costs, in order to run 10gbps equipment.

    Also a list of providers and contacts would be a nice bonus.

    To pre-empt possible questions:
    I know this is going to cost a lot so please don’t say so.

    Were are *not* looking to lay our own fibre but are open to the idea as an idea and don't mind ball park figures based on using in place leased conduit.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkca
    Last year we were looking at a wave quote from what was then Wiltel, the setup on the circuit was just shy of $20k, and the monthly was $33 per mile. I doubt you can get that from Level3 anymore, but it might be possible.
    That's pretty expensive, even for a really uncommon route. But you're right, (3) are generally not the ones to be talking to.

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  19. #19
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    $33/mile, and $20k setup, I'd bite their hands off at that over here based on the quotes we've had for various routes.
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  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by spaethco
    Considering you need to maintain at least 15GHz separation between channels to avoid optical beat interference, not only would you have to buy ultra-precise optics (read:not cheap) but you'd need the finest glass that Corning / Mohawk can make to achieve 160 channel density of 10gbps service. Even assuming massive funding based on the premise of starting this thread, I find it hard to believe you'd be buying equipment beyond the carrier-class 32 and 64 lambda options on the market today.
    "up to" was the operative words and your right in it not being cheap as we are planning on starting out with 32 channels if we go the DWDM route. Which would give us the connectivity we would need with room to expand and the ability to use the spare channels for other purposes.

    Everyone, thank you for your input.

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