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Dark fiber may help light up competition in broadband market


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The problem with cutting the pay-TV cord is that you still need a high-speed Internet connection. No surprise, then, that the big telecom companies are jacking up fees for broadband access.


But I have two words that should worry the likes of Time Warner Cable, AT&T and Verizon Communications.


Dark fiber.


What's that? It's all the unused fiber-optic lines out there just waiting to be leased by go-getting entrepreneurs so they can light up boutique broadband systems and compete with the big boys.


For an idea of how this can work, check out the example of Bel Air Internet, a local company that went from providing Internet access to a handful of Bel-Air homes about a dozen years ago to serving more than 30,000 customers throughout the region.

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