While fibre optic connectivity is regarded as essential infrastructure to achieve true triple-play performance from the Internet, it remains a costly commodity especially for consumers. Now a local company has sourced lower-cost equipment that will effectively halve the cost of connectivity.
Gerhard Loots, chief commercial officer at ATEC Systems & Technologies, says fibre remains the only real option for proper high performance connectivity.
“While wireless has its place and brings the advantage of easy implementation, it just cannot come anywhere near the performance levels which are standard with fibre optic cabling,” he says.
And for triple-play Internet, it is performance that really matters. “Voice, video and data – that’s the triple play. But if you want to achieve true, high definition and high quality voice and video, it comes down to bandwidth and it is definitely a case of the more the merrier."
A fibre optic cable delivers up to a terabit per second, where the fastest wireless connections provide around 100 megabits per second – hundreds of thousands of times slower.
There are always drawbacks, however, and in the case of fibre, it is the cost.
With its focus on providing fibre connectivity to property developments and even small office/home users, Loots says ATEC has consistently worked to bring the cost down – but notes that the R30 000-odd price tag is still substantial.
“That makes our announcement pretty exciting. By sourcing new suppliers to provide the equipment necessary, we’ve been able to drop the cost down to around the R15 000 mark. That covers all the elements necessary to get a fibre connection installed – the fibre itself, the head end server and the labour,” he says.
Loots stresses that there is no compromise in terms of quality. “The equipment is certified and the installation is every bit as good as any other done to date,” he says.
While the bulk of the company’s business comes from connecting fibre to new developments, Loots says it is not limited to these projects.
“We are connecting new buildings, but we can also retro-fit to existing homes, estates or residential areas such as gated communities,” he says.