Campuses look to ‘dark fiber’ for connectivity

Fiber is reliable in inclement weather, IT officials say.

Students and faculty members at Chicago’s Columbia College have to transfer data-heavy files the old-fashioned way: By foot.

The private campus with 12,000 students and 2,000 academic staff in the urban Chicago setting has struggled to bring high-capacity internet bandwidth to its 15 buildings in recent years, leaving students with large video files without a reliable way to share their work over eMail.

Columbia’s technology officials said Oct. 26 that the college would use “dark fiber,” high-speed fiber optic infrastructure already in place underneath Chicago’s streets, to boost the school’s web speeds and allow for enormous files to be easily moved from computer to computer.…Read More