The fiber crunch is here, according to new research from market intelligence analyst Cru Group. A worldwide shortage of fiber-optic cable has driven up product pricing and lengthened lead times on supply, casting a shadow over ambitious industry plans for advanced telecommunications infrastructure rollouts. Governments around the world have set ambitious targets for the rollout of superfast broadband and 5G infrastructure, both of which of course require vast quantities of fiber-optic cable to be laid underground. At the same time, Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Facebook owner Meta are in the process of expanding their data center footprints around the world to meet soaring demand, including globe-spanning deployments of subsea fiber-optic cabling. Prices for fiber have now reached their highest level since July 2019. North America has been less severely impacted than Europe, China and India — but that may not be for long.
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