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  1. How Fiber Keeps Governments and Economies Moving Forward

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    In addition to implementing and overseeing laws, tax policies, regulating commerce and much more, government entities in the U.S. are a massive driver of state and local economies. In 2016, three of every 20 U.S. citizens worked for the government. In Pennsylvania, 12% of the population worked for a government agency in 2016. However, the government sector is no different than businesses across the private sector because they too must overcome the same technology challenges, including aging infrastructure, to achieve growth. According to Government Technology, about one-third of major IT systems that state governments use today are outdated.

    Government IT leaders at the federal, state and municipal levels must stay ahead of industry trends to boost efficiencies and create more opportunities for growth and advancement, ultimately paving the way for the next 20 years and beyond. The speed, stability, flexibility and security of fiber optics is one major factor that will keep governments – and economies – moving forward.

    Fiber Fuels Growth and Innovation

    Pennsylvania leaders are meeting the challenges with creative solutions. The commonwealth recently announced the hiring of its first Chief Digital Officer, a position created to spearhead the establishment of a state data management and data governance strategy. Gov. Wolf has also recognized the importance of things like fast, reliable internet for everyone, regardless of proximity to large cities.

    The Restore Pennsylvania initiative includes policies that provide reliable broadband to all parts of the commonwealth, but the amount of fiber currently in the ground is not enough to support the growing demands. 5G in converged networks means there will be more endpoints, requiring more scalability. If governments want to see the proliferation of SMART cities, they have a responsibility to adopt technologies that lead the way.

    Other benefits of leveraging fiber optic internet include:

    • Ability to provide more cost-effective services to vital government services including first responders
    • Connecting schools, recreational facilities and other governmental facilities with future-proof networks that can accommodate evolving needs
    • Municipal broadband options: government bodies that invest in fiber optic infrastructure within their areas of jurisdiction can lease municipal fiber to private sector providers

    Clearly, there are some significant ways in which governments can benefit from choosing to embrace fiber optic networks.

    Attracting and Retaining Talent

    The ability to transition to remote work is essential for business continuity in the event of unforeseen circumstances, which can prevent people from reporting physically to an office. The COVID-19 pandemic, when many businesses transitioned staff to remote work, is the most recent example of how quickly IT leaders must be able to move.

    Before this even occurred, however, the federal government had already been a leader in telework with the adoption of the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010. This legislation required federal agencies to develop a remote work plan, but many federal employees have returned to the office in recent years.

    In addition to offering the scalability needed during emergency situations, continuing to promote remote work options will help governments remain competitive as employers in a post-COVID world, where telecommuting may become more of the norm. Fiber provides the scalability required of infrastructure within facilities to meet increased needs for bandwidth brought on by more remote work.

    Addressing Speed, Stability and Security with Dark Fiber

    Fiber optics provides solutions that are faster, more reliable and more scalable than legacy copper-coax solutions. Within the full suite of fiber optic solutions, however, dark fiber stands out as a strong play for governments looking to handle large amounts of data with high speed, resilience and high levels of security. Here’s how.

    Dark fiber is one of the most efficient ways to move large amounts of data. Because it enables government departments to appropriate individual strands of fiber for their exclusive use, it is also extremely secure. Dark fiber also gives users high levels of control in terms of the equipment used and protocols selected – this also enhances the safety of the traffic to be passed along the network. Dark fiber enables government bodies to share information directly from point to point, as opposed to sharing information via internet providers where it may hit multiple locations before reaching its endpoint. If one is using a traditional internet provider,dark fiber can provide an excellent layer of redundancy, thereby supporting continuity of services by the government during times of crisis.

    DQE offers fiber and network solutions addressing several challenges facing government agencies. We work with businesses to custom build private networks that block outside groups from tracking or recording information being transferred, making it one of the most secure ways to power a network. DQE offers a full suite of fiber-based internet solutions including dark fiber options.

    To learn more about how DQE can partner with you to customize solutions, check out our information on dark fiber or contact us today.

  2. Significant Operational Savings Linked to Dark Fiber

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    Through the use of dark fiber (i.e. fiber optic strands without equipment connected), companies can achieve significant savings associated with its operational expenses. Over a short period of time, the operational savings will pay for the cost of the build-out, not to mention the significant ongoing savings and potential for rapid bandwidth growth when needed.

    These savings are primarily achieved due to the benefits associated with customizing a cost-effective dark fiber network:

    Technologically Neutral – with dark fiber, you have complete control of the fiber and free rein to choose the equipment you prefer, such as routers and switches, to “light” your network. When determining which equipment vendor is best for your needs, you are self-governed to find, locate and install according to your business’ necessities and budget.

    Nearly Unlimited Bandwidth – bandwidth capabilities are dependent on the electronics your company chooses to put on the Dark Fiber strand, once again giving you complete control of your network to ensure its capabilities are most effectively suited to and customized for your business demands.

    Full Ownership and Control of the Network – being technology-neutral means businesses can use their Dark Fiber network for virtually any application, including: voice and data communications, Internet access, video, disaster recovery, fiber backhaul, data storage, and more! Interconnections can be single entry, point-to-point, dual entry, diverse ring, or customized to your own private network build. Best of all, your fiber is strictly dedicated to your business, ensuring the utmost privacy and data security.

    Upgrades at Your Own Pace – your company’s upgrades are based on its individual needs and internal business timing. With dark fiber, you have the control to plan and schedule bandwidth adjustments according to business urgencies. For example, if you want to upgrade from 1 Gbps to 100 Gbps, you can easily do so at any given time without contacting the fiber provider or paying additional fees for the fiber services. Your monthly fiber lease rate does not change.

    DQE’s Dark Fiber Service includes ongoing Support Maintenance to Your Infrastructure – unlike some service providers, when you choose DQE there are no additional costs associated with maintaining and supporting your fiber optic network outside of your corporate location. DQE maintains the crews, installs and tests the fiber and operates a 24x7x365 NOC.

    When your business demands unlimited bandwidth with maximum control and 24x7x365 network reliability and security, you can rely on DQE Communications’ customized Dark Fiber solution.

    To learn more about these opportunities for operational savings, and the benefits of DQE’s Dark Fiber solutions.

    For more insight, check out DQE’s Industry Solution, focusing on Dark Fiber within the Manufacturing sector.

  3. Why Choose Dark Fiber over Copper? Security, Flexibility, and Speed

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    If you use copper then you are familiar with the frustrations that come from a material that vandals like to steal, deteriorates quickly, is expensive to replace, limits innovative technology choices, and is so slow that it causes the world wide web to become the world wide wait.

    The solution? Dark Fiber.

    With Dark Fiber, as opposed to lit fiber, you have complete control and complete access to the entire bandwidth of the optic fiber. Dark Fiber is engineered for high rates of speed and loads of traffic that you can access and completely control for your particular needs.

    With control of the Dark Fiber comes the benefit of flexibility to your particular needs, application and brand preferences. Being “technologically neutral,” you can use your own preferred technology in conjunction with the Dark Fiber. For example, if you prefer a particular brand of switches, routers, VoIP Gateways, and so forth, it is possible to use your preferred brand with Dark Fiber to suit your particular custom application.

    Dark Fiber is ideal for many diverse industries and applications. First and foremost, it aids the speed of communication, data transfers and backups among buildings. Whether it is across manufacturing plants, corporate business parks, university campuses, healthcare centers or wherever you need to drop communication lines, Dark Fiber will enable you to outperform and increase your ability to transfer data.

    Let us look at three common applications, out of hundreds, that should use Dark Fiber.

    Most businesses and organizations today have significant security-camera applications that are capturing, transmitting and holding significant amounts of high-resolution data from all entrances, parking areas, secure areas and wherever a security camera is deemed necessary. The large bandwidth and speed of Dark Fiber makes this possible and under your control.

    Consider the intense demand for speed and bandwidth put on all colleges and universities. Students arrive each semester with more and more devices accessing the network and with intense demands for fast streaming and downloads. Many students even consider network speeds as a criterion for choosing a particular school. Today’s younger generation will not wait for interrupted streaming, buffering or long downloads. Dark Fiber enables the school to offer students the speed and bandwidth that students demand.

    What about the security and access demands of healthcare centers?

    Not only must a patient’s data be transferred securely, it must be transferred quickly to technicians, nurses, physicians and other healthcare professionals, all while also providing access to the Internet for visitors, volunteers and other staff members. Again, Dark Fiber gives the speed and bandwidth necessary, 24/7.

    The basic truth is that fiber optic is the way of the future, and the future is now.

    According to Transparency Market Research, “The growing concerns of safety and security with the use of modern, sophisticated technologies are fueling the market for fiber optics, which is expected to reach $290 million in 2017.”

    In addition, according to a case presented to the US Green Business Council, “With the rise in bandwidth requirements, optical fiber versus copper has significant energy savings advantages. Energy savings associated with power and cooling of a 10Gbyte/s optical network vs. 10G copper network can range from 75-85% depending on port count. Further, innovative high fiber count pre-terminated optical solutions vs. traditional patch-cord solutions reduce cabling congestion and optimize air flow in the server racks and raceways further reducing cooling energy requirements.”

    Two areas to consider before running Dark Fiber, is the distance a light pulse has to travel and the optimum usage of the Dark Fiber. Learn more about the “Fiber make ready” process and regulations to understand. In each case, the engineering experts at DQE Communications can work with you and advise you on your particular, customized application.

    To learn more about DQE Communications and their expertise in fiber optics.

    If you are still unsure about the benefits of fiber optics over copper, check out these two informative sources of industry insights: LightWave and Electrical Contractor magazine.

  4. Is Your Business Ready for Dark Fiber?

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    Dark Fiber Might be the Right Solution for Your Business

    Dark fiber is the term used to describe fiber optic cable that is not used at the time. Installing excess fiber optic cables is a proactive and long-term cost-saving approach for scaling bandwidth. Dark fiber makes it easy for businesses and Internet service providers to scale bandwidth as the demand for faster data and transmission speeds increase.

    During the 1990s, installation of excessive amounts of fiber optic cabling surged. There was a strong belief that new technologies would need enormous levels of bandwidth.

    Today, fiber optic networks hold the highest speed and data capabilities compared to many other network infrastructures. One drawback is that installation can be costly for businesses to install independently. Thus, dark fiber may be the best solution for a business seeking private, secure and fast networks with scalable bandwidth on which to operate.

    DQE Communications originated in 1997, in the midst of the “dot com” era, and has dark fiber available. They also continue to expand their infrastructure and footprint throughout southwestern PA.

    Benefits of Dark Fiber

    A dark fiber network can provide a business with many benefits:

    1. Easy to manage – Businesses can manage and control their own data and transmission speeds. This provides optimum security for many different industries.
    2. Customization – With control comes the freedom to customize your network to meet your business needs. You can adjust your bandwidth how and when you see fit.
    3. Speed – DQE’s dark fiber is 65,000 times faster than a T1 Line, which means that a business could transmit a 12.5 GB file every single second.

    Is Dark Fiber for You?

    Dark Fiber is ideal for businesses that have:

    1. Gross revenue comparable to Fortune 500 companies
    2. Established locations
    3. High bandwidth and flexibility needs
    4. Dedicated infrastructure and equipment

    Healthcare and Education are good examples of industries benefiting from using dark fiber services. Dark fiber provides security, speed and flexibility that is pertinent for these companies.

    For more information on dark fiber networks and DQE Communications’ dark fiber options, you can visit our website.

    Please see DQE’s network coverage map and find out how close we are to serving your businesses dark fiber network needs today.