Consistent and reliable connectivity remains a challenge for the suburbs.

By David Coleman, chief product officer at Frogfoot Networks

Sustained levels of loadshedding are affecting telecommunication company’s service delivery and those who rely on mobile or LTE connectivity to stay connected are battling with reliability. For many, the last mile of connectivity remains complicated and frustrating – it can be expensive and unreliable. And this affects entrepreneurs, students, and communities.

There is a need for a product that delivers stable and accessible connectivity that’s priced to fit the needs of the market and designed to overcome the challenges of local infrastructure. One of the core needs of the LSM 8-10 market is for connectivity to be cost-effective. They want the reliability and security of fibre but without the hefty price tag.

In the past, fibre has been the expensive, bells-and-whistles solution only affordable by higher LSMs or organisations. Unaffected by loadshedding and providing high-availability connectivity, fibre is one of the most reliable services available but the cost has been a deterrent. Users want the option of either a prepaid or a month-to-month package that allows them to tailor their spend more effectively.

Prepaid fibre or month-to-month connectivity solutions allow users to opt into fibre that’s reliable and affordable. They don’t need to spend thousands a month on a package that delivers high-speed connectivity worthy of the enterprise, instead, they can access a 10-50Mbps service which keeps them connected at a solid speed even during loadshedding.

A focus on an accessible price point across all suburbs will ensure that everyone has fibre on demand. They can pay for what they need when they need it, and they have reliable fibre that can sustain their connectivity requirements.

And these can span into multiple use cases. Holidaymakers wanting a reliable connectivity experience can use a prepaid service to stay connected and those who offer holiday services can use prepaid or monthly fibre solutions to offer this connectivity as a value-added service to their customers. Students and people living in retirement communities can now gain access to affordable connectivity that fits within their individual budgets.

Fibre to community solutions built on the backbone of prepaid or on month-to-month allow for communities to access affordable and reliable connectivity. It takes the pressure off communities. Instead of delivering costly connectivity solutions or none at all – which can present a risk in retirement villages in need of rapid emergency support – they can provide access that’s on-demand and within budgets.

It also opens doors. With a trusted fibre solution, users can automate business processes, promote their own small businesses or side hustles, and expand their reach. It allows for a much-needed explosion in entrepreneurs and innovations that has a knock-on benefit across the South African economy and creates an ecosystem of connectivity – cashflow allows for users to purchase prepaid services that allow them to earn more money which gives them the income they need to remain connected.

Prioritising affordable and accessible fibre connectivity can potentially transform user access, community growth, entrepreneurship, service delivery and user wellbeing and safety. Student communities gain access to educational tools on site, retirement communities have access to essential connectivity and emergency services, holiday resorts can enhance their offerings and entrepreneurs can work from home and grow their businesses.

And it all comes down to fibre solutions that anyone can reach, use and afford.