SA fibre broadband set for cheaper access

2013-10-03 11:00
(News24, File)

(News24, File)

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Cape Town - Affordable broadband is one step closer with the expansion of a so-called "last mile" service being expanded to Cape Town.

Conduct Telecommunications has been installing fibre connections in Gauteng and on Thursday, announced the expansion of its services to Cape Town.

South Africa has seen the delivery of several high-speed broadband cables, but last mile connectivity has largely remained within the province of Telkom which owns the infrastructure.

For businesses, the cost of deploying last mile solutions is prohibitively expensive and the expansion of dark fibre, ie fibre networks built, but not currently used, has been driven mainly by large ISPs and mobile operators.

"There is sufficient network capacity deployed in the cities by several operators, we are not duplicating this. The problem is getting from these fibre routes into the buildings and to the end customer. This is where we are focusing on closing the gap," said Conduct CEO Johan Pretorius.

Telkom internet

The company said that it has no bias toward any operator who would like to make use of the service.

"We lease the fibre to various ISPs. We are ISP agnostic (or neutral) so we will lease the use of our fibre, on equal terms to any ISP, including MWEB and Telkom," Kirsten Eddey, Business Development manager at Conduct told News24.

It is expected that end-user costs will be significantly reduced because operators will share the cost of the infrastructure.

A top-end Telkom internet package with speeds of up to 40mbps costs R3 656 per month, but availability is limited.

Conduct has connected about 2 000 businesses to its network and plans to have 8 000 connected by the end of 2014.

"This is an infrastructure play. One of the key drivers behind this process is to eliminate the inefficient and wasteful duplication of infrastructure. Now multiple ISPs can access clients in the last mile without having to lay their own infrastructure," said Eddey.

Currently, the company says that the speeds of more than 1gbps are achievable which would be ideal for the consumption of rich media and applications over the internet.

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Read more on:    telkom  |  internet  |  broadband

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