Growthpoint Properties has penned an exclusive five-year partnership with Dimension Data that will evaluate the viability of open-access high-speed Internet to Growthpoint’s 353 commercial and industrial properties across South Africa.
Thanks to this partnership, occupants of Growthpoint’s properties could enjoy faster, more reliable Internet connectivity essential for productivity and profitability. It’s the first project of its kind and scale by a South African property company.
Rudolf Pienaar, Growthpoint Properties Offices divisional director, says: “High-speed Internet is crucial for businesses today. Reliable, fast Internet is an attractive incentive for business in our ‘connected’ world and by providing it in our buildings, Growthpoint is giving South African businesses another tool to help them thrive.”
Engelbert Binedell, Growthpoint Properties Industrial divisional director, adds: “High-speed internet is usually associated with office buildings, but this partnership will also benefit the increasing demands associated with our manufacturing, warehousing and distribution clients, many of which invest heavily in technology to ensure business efficiencies. More reliable broadband connectivity has become essential for these clients.”
Pienaar explains that South Africa enjoys high-speed connectivity to the rest of the world — with WACS and EASSY, the country’s west and east coast Internet cables, SEACOM, and the Telkom SAT3 cables. But, tapping into this high-speed Internet and expansive bandwidth remains impossible for many businesses.
“Last mile connectivity is the critical barrier to entry. If a building isn’t wired up, or if it isn’t in a major centre, businesses still can’t access all this bandwidth potential,” says Pienaar. “Growthpoint has partnered with Dimension Data so that, no matter where our buildings are, each one could be wired for fibre, and our clients may enjoy the best Internet connectivity in South Africa.”
He adds: “We are pleased to partner with Dimension Data, which is providing the fibre optic infrastructure for the last mile link to Growthpoint’s buildings as requested by tenants and where such service is viable.”
Besides enjoying quick, stable broadband connectivity, Growthpoint clients will also have the freedom to use their service provider (SP) of choice.
The shared fibre infrastructure will enable SP’s to offer excellent connectivity at lower cost for their clients in Growthpoint’s properties. In fact, it creates an opportunity for small SPs not capable of deploying their own infrastructure, to offer their services to businesses in Growthpoint buildings.
“Open access means that all SP’s can access the infrastructure on an equal footing,” says Pienaar.
The benefits of Growthpoint’s broadband project are far-reaching. It broadens access to prized broadband connectivity, especially as Growthpoint’s properties outside major metropolitan areas, which wouldn’t otherwise be wired for fibre, are being included in the project.
For Growthpoint’s clients, it has the potential to increase business productivity and, in turn, profitability. It will also contribute to lower broadband costs in Growthpoint’s buildings.
“It’s even good for the environment,” notes Pienaar. “It reduces cabling needed for connecting each business in multitenant buildings, cutting out cable clutter. This is especially important in buildings which aren’t designed for today’s massive cabling requirements.”
Wired buildings are becoming more prevalent internationally because of business demand, and high-speed Internet is becoming an essential consideration when developing new buildings.
“While South Africa has a long way to go in embracing technology and truly integrating it into our buildings, more and more businesses are beginning to expect this level of sophistication and simplicity for their premises,” says Pienaar. “Growthpoint recognises this and we believe our last mile broadband initiative will help clients increase their operational efficiencies and reduce costs.”
Derek Wilcocks, CEO of Dimension Data Middle East and Africa, says “This partnership between Dimension Data and Growthpoint is a ground-breaking development towards the advancement of faster, more reliable broadband connectivity, which has significant benefits for productivity. Dimension Data is proud to make a contribution towards increased productivity and particularly, the South African economy.”
Growthpoint Properties is the largest South African listed property company, with property assets valued over R50 billion. It owns and manages 412 properties in South Africa, 44 properties in Australia through its investment in Growthpoint Properties Australia or GOZ, in which it has a 65% stake, and a 50% interest in the properties of the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.