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Knysna gated community goes high-tech

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The gated community of Thesen Island will be be among the first Knysna residents to benefit from in-house digital connecitivty and access to IT via a high-tech broadband IT network installation. 

The coastal network installation project, initiated by the Thesen Islands Development Company, in conjunction with local network services provider Eden Telecom, made use of SMC Network technology.
Egge Mulder, MD of Eden Telecom, says the installation could be considered a landmark project in terms of the convergence of voice, video and data in a home networking infrastructure.
“Not too long ago Thesen Islands consisted of nothing more than an industrial site. A team of visionary developers, under hefty public protest, turned it into a ‘seaside paradise’. It has been called 'the best place to live in South Africa', with a unique broadband service to boot,” comments Mulder.
Eden Telecom sourced a significant portion of the technology for the installation from SMC Networks South Africa including standard Ethernet and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) or Internet Telephony. The network solutions provider also assisted directly in the integration of VDSL technology and related services.
“The access portion of the network is up 99,999% of the time,” says Mulder.
The network connects 650 residential and commercial units, bringing several networking disciplines into a single environment. Residents have access to both fixed and mobile broadband services.
“I believe the technologies we are deploying right now will be more than sufficient for at least the next five years," Mulder adds. "It will take a few years before it becomes economically viable to purchase a wholesale 100Mbps Tier One link in order to offer this kind of Internet service to the end user, even though our access networks are already capable of delivering these speeds.
"In the meantime, it is perfect for supplying localised value added services like CCTV, VOIP and Video on demand over a campus type network. The video is used specifically for security purposes and is streamed to a central point and monitored twenty four hours a day, obviously requiring higher than normal bandwidth.”
Eden Telecom opted to install a mixed bag of technologies from suppliers like SMC Networks South Africa and had to face the challenge of having to attract and retain the skills to support a multi-discipline environment.