Dark fibre, the unlit fibre optic cable laid down in the pre-2001 speculative telecoms splurge, is being lit all over Europe as the sector sees a strong resurgence of demand, according a new report.
The Dark Fibre Report, from telecoms analyst firm BroadGroup, said that growing demand for communications and rapidly falling costs for optical fibre equipment has driven the uptake.
"Dark fibre use has become more attractive to the wider enterprise market," said Steve Wallage, managing director of BroadGroup, who led the research.
"There is a radical decrease in the cost of equipment used in lighting dark fibre, which has reduced the cost of management.
"We are also seeing the emergence of new players in niche markets providing dark fibre infrastructure in a number of countries which are now marketing dark fibre connections, management services and a conventional rental agreement."
Sales of optical networking equipment have risen 23 per cent this year, according to analyst firm Ovum, which reported that the telecoms sector as a whole is bucking the economic slowdown.
"The explanation is simple: service providers' forward-looking infrastructure investment and conservative financial management put them in a strong position to capitalise on the current business environment," said John Lively, vice president of forecasting and analysis at Ovum.
"Durable goods purchases are postponed in recessionary times, while communication, entertainment and social networking services are not.
"Telecoms has been 'sticking to its knitting' over the past several years, and is now reaping the benefits."
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