Dark fibre is simply optical fibre cable laid but not connected up to comms equipment. It is run entirely by the purchaser and typically used to avoid the costs of paying a carrier for a managed fibre link. Dark fibre links are typically built with far greater capacity than is currently needed due to the high costs of demolishing infrastructure like roads to build them.
Internode managing director Simon Hackett said in a statement his company's ADSL2+ deployment aimed to cover more than half of the Internet provider's customers by the end of 2005, with "more than 20 exchanges in the eastern states on its deployment schedule". That number so far publicly only includes five exchanges in Victoria and six in Queensland, with the remainder in NSW.
However it would appear as if the company has quite a bit of catching up to do with its competitors. The nation's third largest ISP iiNet announced in March it would roll out its own equipment to 111 more exchanges, of which 86 would be in Sydney.
The news comes as Hackett yesterday said Internode was likely to release its bundled Internet telephony solution into the market within the next two weeks.
Internode's desire to enter the so-called triple-play market -- in which customers will get bundled voice, data and video services over a single broadband connection -- is well-known.
The rollout is the second win in a couple of months for PIPE, which recently announced it had been contracted by Internode competitor Netspace to provide an AU$1.2 million dark fibre network in Melbourne. That network runs past 15 telephone exchanges and is understood to form the basis of a future ADSL infrastructure rollout on the part of Netspace.