While kilometers of fibre are being laid every day, midsize businesses get little sight of it. ARC Telecoms changes that with Community Connect. ARC Telecoms is bridging the gap between fibre network nodes and the midsize businesses wanting access to them by creating a community fibre access point, with point-to-point microwave to connect the last mile (2km, to be exact).
The service saw its nationwide launch in Stellenbosch, where much of the town and surrounding office parks are not able to access high-speed fibre rings of the major telcos.
Community Connect changes the dynamics of data services for midsize business, which typically do not have the monthly spend to attract network operators to lay fibre to their offices.
Yet SMEs still need low-latency, high speed, symmetrical data links for VPN, Internet access and voice calls, but at a reasonable cost.
“This is a community-oriented project, where we are enabling fibre access for businesses that fall within a 2km radius of an ARC node,” says ARC Telecoms CEO, Steve Briggs.
“By leveraging off the shared infrastructure in a specific region, ARC is able to offer a high quality, end-to-end managed connectivity solution that is suitable for a host of business applications. The service has a substantially lower contention than comparable consumer-class offerings like ADSL and bonded ADSL that midsize business are often forced to choose. It is a high quality, managed link at a fraction of the cost of similar enterprise-class products.”
One of ARC’s first Community Connects customers is The Burgiss Group, a data and technology company serving the global Private Equity market with its head office in Hoboken, New Jersey (USA).
Stefan Elbrecht, MD of the Burgiss Group South Africa, says, “We are part of a global organisation, all internal applications and processes as well as staff training and internal and external communication are facilitated online. If we have no Internet connection I might as well send everyone home,” says Elbrecht.
“What we needed was a decent, reliable Internet connection and ARC Telecoms offered us this at an excellent price for a solution that was otherwise not possible in the form of Community Connect,” elaborates Elbrecht.
ARC Telecoms is in the process of establishing ARC nodes to roll out this offering in Rosebank, Midrand and Bloemfontein. Community Connect is a more robust and faster alternative to bonded ADSL, where extensive traffic shaping by the ISP can make prioritising business-related applications such as VoIP and cloud services difficult.
Community Connect is a symmetrical service, making it suitable for both voice and data traffic with speeds of up to 4Mbps and a low contention ratio.
“As the demand for Internet grows within a business we can move businesses to their own fibre. This type of high-quality, high-speed Internet is part of a progressive, supportive approach to facilitating SMEs move to leveraging cloud solutions,” says Briggs.