When deciding how to connect your schools to fiber, there are a number of options to consider. Districts can procure a fully managed lit fiber service from a provider or they can procure different types dark fiber to create their own transport services.
is a fiber based broadband service where the service provider owns, activates, and manages the network while the school district pays a recurring fee to have data transported over it. Currently, leased lit fiber is the most common way that school districts and businesses receive transport and Internet access.
is a service where a customer leases a specific number of fiber strands on a provider owned and maintained fiber network. The customer is responsible for adding the electronics at both ends to make the fiber a functional connection. This service could be a viable alternative to leased lit fiber services, as it provides cost and scalability advantages.
refers to a district-owned broadband network. A school pays a vendor to construct a fiber network that they own, maintain, and operate. This can be a good solution for schools in areas where service providers have little economic incentive to build out fiber-optic networks and have been unable to find affordable high-speed broadband.
Accurate comparison of the economics of lit, dark and self-provisioned fiber is complex. In order to fully understand the Cost Comparison Tool, EducationSuperHighway can provide you with a short tutorial to ensure you maximize your use of the tool. Please Contact Us for your copy of the model and free coaching session.
Apart from the comparison of costs, it is also critical to consider other factors such as timing, resource demands, skill requirements, and fiber network quality factors (latency, link loss, budgets, plant design, etc) for all the services you are interested in. The ability to meet the operational requirements of each type of service varies among school districts. Every school and district should consider the different options based on their own unique situation and get a number of competitive bids including pricing and project timelines before making their decision.