With dark fibre being a new prospect, it may require new technical knowledge and experience. Especially if it’s opening up the market for new services or business models. This need not be insurmountable. It’s critical that you get the right business support to minimise technology and business risks and to accelerate time to market.

When it comes to lighting dark fibre, not all technology solutions are equal.

- Simon Parry, CTO for UK Public Sector

Here’s how you can adopt dark fibre quickly and at low risk in five simple steps:

Step 1: Understand the opportunity
Most industry commentators and insiders agree that the market for high-bandwidth government connectivity solutions is large and growing exponentially. But where are the immediate opportunities? And how can service providers anticipate and meet the needs of government customers?

The easy way to fully understand the market opportunity is to work with a network provider with extensive experience in the government sector. Ciena already provides network infrastructure and services for several large government organisations, giving us an in-depth understanding of their connectivity needs.

As well as delivering network solutions for customers directly—including the UK’s education network JaNET run by Jisc—Ciena also powers government services delivered by a number of leading service provider partners.

Step 2: Build a watertight business case
 With dark fibre, service providers can turn the economics of service delivery on its head— multiplying available bandwidth with only small incremental costs. But how much equipment will you need? What is the cost of installing and maintaining it? And how can return on investment be accurately projected and calculated?

Ciena consultants work with you to answer these difficult questions and to help you get sign-off for your business case at board level. Having worked with other service providers to light dark fibre and deliver high-bandwidth services to government customers, Ciena has extensive experience calculating costs and ROI on a range of projects, adding significant credibility to projections for your own project.

Step 3: Meet and exceed government expectations
Government customers have specific expectations when it comes to network coverage, performance, and mission criticality.

As a market leader with significant government experience, Ciena helps you meet and exceed government expectations and enables you to stay one step ahead of competitors. With our support, you can design and deploy government offerings with the right Points of Presence (PoPs), the right service levels, and the right service features—maximising uptake and growing sustainably.

Step 4: Get end-to-end support
Access to dark fibre increases your capacity to add value above and beyond raw connectivity. However, there’s more to do in terms of installing network equipment, maintain and supporting infrastructure, and supporting customers.

To help you transition from leased circuits to dark fibre seamlessly, Ciena offers a fully managed service based on a build, operate, transfer business model. We help you get started based on a ‘white label’ service, and our engineers can work on client sites on your behalf. In time, you can choose to train your own people and take service management back in house if it makes good business sense.

Step 5: Partner with an industry expert (without the hassle)
Many network providers ask their partners to meet onerous requirements to participate in their partner programs. There are minimum sales targets, certification requirements, and discount schemes that are heavily biased in favour of large partners. Not so with Ciena’s BizConnect partner program.

If you’re already a BizConnect partner, please get in touch. We’ll fill you in on all the latest benefits you’re entitled to—from marketing and business support and product discounts to development tools and training resources. And if you’re not a BizConnect partner yet, please get in touch for an overview of how to join.

On your marks, get set... 
And go! The race to light dark fibre has begun. Get an early advantage. Call Ciena today and find out how we can help you scope, design, build, and deliver the next-generation of high-bandwidth services for your government customers at a price you—and crucially, they— can afford.