Global shortage of fiber optic cable threatens digital growth

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A worldwide shortage of fiber optic cable has driven up prices and lengthened lead times, endangering companies’ ambitious plans to roll out state-of-the-art telecommunications infrastructure.

Europe, India, and China are among the regions most affected by the crunch, with prices for fiber rising by up to 70 percent from record lows in March 2021, from $3.70 to $6.30 per fiber km, according to Cru Group, a market intelligence firm.

Although the pandemic prompted some of the biggest tech and telecoms groups to slash their capex, there has been a surge in demand for Internet and data services, leading to a shortfall in availability of the crucial but often overlooked material.

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