Johannesburg - Secunda is to benefit from affordable
internet as fibre infrastructure to the value of R16m will soon be deployed in
The roll-out, part of local infrastructure provider Dark
Fibre Africa's (DFA's) R3.5bn national fibre network, will increase bandwidth
and reduce internet costs significantly, the company said in a news release on
"DFA will not only launch towns such as Secunda into the
digital age, but will also bring significant investment into these outlying
"Furthermore, the socioeconomic benefits of fibre-optic networks are
vast, as affordable broadband contributes to increased economic activity."
DFA provides the open access dark fibre infrastructure that
enables licensed mobile operators like Vodacom Group [JSE:VOD], MTN Group [JSE:MTN] and Cell C, as well as
internet service providers (ISPs) like Internet Solutions and MWEB, to give
communities access to the network.
The company's CEO Gustav Smit is optimistic about prospects
for small to medium businesses. "Being at the forefront of fibre roll-out
in South Africa, DFA already has the fibre infrastructure to connect consumers
to the rest of the world," said Smit.
Expansion of communications infrastructure brings about new
business opportunities that are dependent on broadband, added Smit.
"Open Access broadband also stimulates competition
within the telecommunications market, ultimately reducing internet costs. DFA
is here to provide a long-term sustainable solution to the local
More importantly, the competitive advantage and productivity
gains of broadband are enormous. Municipalities are able to provide electronic
services, education levels improve with access to information and communities
have access to eHealth and eLearning.
Smit points to the international submarine cables such as
SAT3, SAFE, Seacom, EASSY and WACS as a key ingredient for a viable fibre
"You then need fibre to submarine landing stations.
This is already in place with companies like Telkom, Neotel and Broadband
Infraco offering fibre links from landing stations to major metros, along with
Smit said South Africans simply don't know what 20Mbps or
100Mbps to the home means.
"An opportunity needs to be created for users to test
drive serious broadband and ISPs need to play a leading role in mobilising communities,"