What is dark fibre?

Dark fibre suppliers

Where can I get dark fibre?

So who can you get dark fibre from? A lot depends on where you are. The legal and regulatory framework for dark fibre and telecoms services varies in different territories. In the UK, for example, a company must have a telecoms licence to be allowed to install cable along the public highway. Many utility companies have lots of fibre installed alongside their infrastructure, so electricity companies, Gas companies, Water companies, railways are all likely candidates for suppliers of dark fibre. Examples include:


SSE logo

SSE Telecoms


ESB logo

ESB in Dublin and Ireland


Virgin Media logo

Virgin media


Cable TV companies will often have good coverage with their fibre networks and are willing to provide dark fibre services.

Openreach DFA link

Usually established incumbent operators do not like providing dark fibre, they would rather supply managed services, but in the UK, the telecoms regulator has forced BT Openreach to offer dark fibre services on its network. This comes into force on the 1st October 2017. The product is being called Dark Fibre Access.

One example of a dedicated dark fibre provider is Colt. Their extensive City of London network is shown on this map, they also have metro networks in most major European cities and a longhaul network that links them all together.