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VoIP Lights Up "Dark Fiber"

The telecom bubble of the late 90s appears to be drawing to an end, as so-called "dark fiber" -- unused bandwidth -- begins to be used as demand picks up. And leading the way to lighting up that dark fiber is VoIP.
Om Malik reports that long-haul bandwidth service providers are making use of bandwidth that has been dormant for years, and that they're adding wavelenghs to increaase capacity. He also notes that "There is talk of a new transpacific cable being laid by a new group."

This time around, it's not business leading the charge. Instead, it's consumers, signing up for broadband in big numbers.

He notes that the Point Topic research firm "estimates that there were 209.3 million global broadband users at end of 2005, up 56.2 million or 37% from 153.3 million lines on 31 December 2004."

There's more going on here than people wanting to surf the Web faster, though. VoIP consumer services, such as Vonage and Skype, are just at the point of entering the mainstream, and they're driving much of the demand.

Video is entering the picture, and will drive demand even more as well.

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