How South Africans can get fibre to the home
28 February 2012
TechCentral - 27 February 2012
If SA consumers are ever to enjoy high-speed Internet access delivered over fibre-optic cables into their homes, government will need to assist the telecommunications industry to build the infrastructure and Internet service providers will have to do a better job of educating customers about the potential of super-fast broadband connections.
That’s the view of Gustav Smit, CEO of Dark Fibre Africa, which has spent R3,3bn in the past four years building fibre networks in metropolitan areas and connecting subsea fibre landing stations on the east and west coasts of SA.
However, if communities are keen to get access to high-speed fibre networks in their neighbourhoods in areas where fibre backhaul infrastructure already exists, Smit says they should group together and lobby for it. Dark Fibre Africa already has infrastructure in many of SA’s suburbs, passing thousands of homes and businesses.
Smit says there are now sufficient subsea cables serving SA — “at least enough to stimulate competition” — and intercity links are available from a range of operators. The last mile into businesses and homes has become the big barrier that needs to be tackled. This needs to be done through a combination of long-term evolution (LTE) wireless technology and fibre.