Durban is hoping to become South Africa¹s new business-friendly leader, as the city’s progressive broadband strategy and infrastructure investment is fulfilling its goal of being Africa’s first “smart city”.
Durban is well advanced in laying fibre to lower the cost of doing business and also has ambitious plans to take fibre the last mile into homes.
The city has partnered with the private sector companies to maximize the benefits of sharing its infrastructure and access to public rights of way for laying cables and enticing large technology facilities providers – like Teraco Data Environment – to set up shop in the city.
Since 2008, Durban’s eThekwini municipality has launched its MetroConnect service. By selling spare capacity on this self-provisioned municipal fibre network, the municipality has given companies access to bandwidth at competitive rates and improved access speeds.
Apart from its World Cup investment, eThekwini municipality has committed more than R2-billion to services infrastructure repair and maintenance this year.
“There’s a lot of exciting infrastructure development happening in Durban. With the new airport accommodating international flights, more corporate are now looking to set up shop here,” says Jacquie Subban, head of geographic information and policy at eThekwini municipality. “Durban is also on a main telecoms artery. The landing sites of both Seacom and EASSy are on Durban¹s north coast at Mtunzini, giving the region access to significant bandwidth capacity.”
Meanwhile, Teraco Data Environments is fitting out a new data centre in Umhlanga, complementing its installations in Cape Town and Johannesburg.
“Durban has historically often been forgotten in the local IT landscape, but that’s changing fast as it becomes the next rapidly-growing high-tech African metropolis,” says Lex Van Wyk, MD of Teraco. “Teraco Durban’s location puts us on the fibre rings of several major fibre network providers. A central node to networks being rolled out in the region, Teraco Durban will create significant opportunities for business to expand and place their infrastructure in a world class data centre facility.”