A shortage of fiber optic cables could spell disaster for tech companies

A shortage of fiber optic cables could spell disaster for tech companies

The current problems will also affect the development of new data centers, hindering the expansion plans of VPN, cloud storage, web hosting and similar companies.

An acute shortage of fiber optic cables worldwide could cause significant bottlenecks in critical communications infrastructure projects. According to market research firm Cru Group , the price of fiber has risen by 70 percent in the past 18 months or so, as demand for Internet-based services increases and countries move forward with 5G rollouts. “Given that the cost of construction has suddenly doubled, it is now questionable whether countries will be able to meet their infrastructure build-out targets and whether this could affect global connectivity,” Cru explained.Although the technology itself receives little attention, fiber-optic cabling is a cornerstone of virtually every major infrastructure project, from high-speed broadband to 5G and the undersea cables that underpin services for the world’s largest technology companies.The current problems will also affect the development of new data centers, hindering the expansion plans of VPN, cloud storage, web hosting and similar companies.The current shortage can be attributed to a number of different factors, from a sharp increase in demand (consumption increased by 8.1 percent compared to the previous year) to shortages of key components of the manufacturing process, such as helium gas and silicon tetrachloride.The CEO of Corning, the world’s largest fiber optic cable maker, told the Financial Times that he had “never seen an inflationary crisis like this” and that his company was desperately working to increase production capacity. In addition to unpredictable price fluctuations, the shortage also led to a significant increase in lead times. While large companies with close ties to manufacturers are likely to fare better, less influential small businesses are reported to have to wait up to a year for orders to be fulfilled. The only positive is that industry insiders believe the shortage is temporary – a crisis rather than a long-term problem – which may limit the extent of the downturn suffered.Hardware, software, tests, interesting and colorful news from the world of IT by clicking here!

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