A series of new dark fiber routes
Eastern Light’s mission is to build, own and operate international, long-haul fiber infrastructure between major data centers and communication hubs in Northern Europe. Click here for a network overview.
Dark Fiber and Colocation for ILA equipment
Eastern Light’s main product is dark fiber, i.e. the provision of physical strands of glass fiber between specific locations, at the end of which our customers in turn install and operate their own active telecom equipment of their choice. The fiber is provided either in the form of IRUs (Indefeasible Right of Use) or on a monthly-lease basis, and are offered for the cable system’s entire length as well as for individual stretches between specific locations.
At regular intervals along its cable systems, Eastern Light provides colocation space in its own purpose-built ILA sites – technical buildings where its customers place and operate their own equipment for amplification of the optical signals. The dependability and security of this part of the infrastructure is paramount, and Eastern Light’s ILA sites are therefore basically fully-fledged state-of-the-art modern data centers in miniature, equipped with uninterruptable power supply, reserve power (diesel engines), HVAC equipment (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), CCTV, intrusion detection, fire protection systems and more. From these buildings, connections may be made to national, regional and local fiber networks.
Eastern Light takes full responsibility for the long-term maintenance and fault-repair of each component of its cable system, including the ILA sites, and has service agreements in place with well-established suppliers.
What’s unique about our infrastructure
- Eastern Light’s infrastructure is purpose-built specifically for providing international long-haul dark fiber end-to-end between major data centers in northern Europe, unbroken without any unnecessary detours or drops between the end-points.
- Every part of the infrastructure is entirely new, independent and at all points physically separate from other infrastructure used for long-haul communication.
- Eastern Light does not have any connectors or traditional ODFs anywhere. All fibers are fully spliced all the way.
- Eastern Light keeps what it calls a “Fiber Integrity Audit Trail” to assure its customers of each link’s sustained integrity over time (see article “Is your cloud being tapped?).
- All sea cable landings are made through the drilling of a very long hole (up to 500 meters) by means of directional drilling, from a point on land behind the beach and then under the beach and sea bed until the water reaches a depth of 5-10 meters. This method serves a double purpose in that it maximizes the protection of the cable and minimizes the environmental impact.
- Eastern Light performs yearly inspections of every sea cable stretch and landing point in order to ensure that the cable is safe and has not changed its position in any way that can risk damaging it over time.
- The beach manholes connecting the sea cables to the land cables are constructed so as to mitigate the impact of any excessive tension in the cable. In the beach manhole, an extra distance of the sea cable is rolled into a coil that is being automatically dispatched in case of excessive tension, thus lowering the risk of the cable or the beach manhole being damaged.
- All land cables are deployed in Eastern Light’s own ducts. We never share canalization with anyone and the routes are planned so as to ensure complete physical separation from other infrastructure used for long-haul communication.
- Our clear focus on the long-haul stretches means that we can keep the number of splices to a minimum. Furthermore, we use a sturdy type of 50 mm plastic ducts through which we deploy robust cables that can be blown long distances at a time, thus lowering the number of splices even further.
- Eastern Light uses round splice boxes made of stainless steel that are extremely water tight. These splice boxes are significantly more expensive than the common square, plastic type, but they help to substantially reduce the long-term degradation of the fiber.
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