A fibre infrastructure to the value of R16-million will soon be deployed in Secunda. This forms part of a R3,5-billion national fibre network from Dark Fibre Africa (DFA) that will increase bandwidth and reduce Internet costs significantly.
DFA will not only launch towns such as Secunda into the digital age, but it will also bring significant investment into these outlying areas.
DFA provides the open access fibre infrastructure that enables licensed mobile operators like Vodacom, MTN and Cell C, as well as ISPs like Internet Solutions and MWeb, to give communities access to the network.
The company’s CEO Gustav Smit is optimistic about prospects for small to medium-sized businesses. “Being at the forefront of fibre roll-out in South Africa, DFA already has the fibre infrastructure to connect consumers to the rest of the world.”
He says expansion of communications infrastructure brings about new business opportunities that are dependent on broadband. “Open access broadband also stimulates competition within the telecommunications market, ultimately reducing Internet costs. DFA is here to provide a long term sustainable solution to the local community.”
More importantly, the competitive advantage and productivity gains of broadband are enormous. Municipalities are able to provide electronic services, education levels improve with access to information and communities have access to e-health and e-learning.
Smit points to the international submarine cables such as SAT3, SAFE, Seacom, EASSy and WACS as a key ingredient for a viable fibre network. “You then need fibre to submarine landing stations. This is already in place with companies like Telkom, Neotel and Broadband Infraco offering fibre links from landing stations to major metros, along with intercity links.”
He adds that South Africans simply don’t know what 20Mbps or 100Mbps to the home means. “An opportunity needs to be created for users to test drive serious broadband and ISPs need to play a leading role in mobilising communities.”