Broadband internet. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)
Johannesburg - Telecommunications infrastructure company Dark Fibre Africa (DFA) plans to establish 20 000 fibre to the business connections by March 2016.
Launched in 2007, DFA is an open access network company, meaning that it rents out parts of its network to other companies and telecommunication providers.
At the beginning of 2014, it also invested over R5bn in its network and installed close to 8 000 kilometres of fibre infrastructure nationwide.
The company says in a statement that it now plans to connect 20 000 businesses is “significantly more” than what it has in its current enterprise network.
The chief strategy officer at DFA, Reshaad Sha, said the demand for cloud computing services is driving the need to build more fibre networks in South Africa.
“Although there are several drivers leading to increased demand for connectivity, we have identified that globally cloud computing is a critical driver for the adoption of fibre based connectivity,” said Sha.
“In order for cloud computing to deliver the benefits of cost saving, business continuity and business agility, it requires a secure and super-fast connection that only a fibre network can provide,” Sha said.
Sha adds that almost half of 100 JSE-listed corporations are using a form of cloud computing.
South Africa has seen investment in home fibre networks surging over the last year.
Telecoms player Telkom is connecting Houghton, Parktown and Westcliff with the technology. Mobile network MTN has also rolled out fibre broadband in suburbs such as Lonehill.
While other companies such as Vumatel and Fibrehoods are also spearheading the expansion of fast internet offerings using the service.
Vodacom is also in a bid to buy fixed line operator Neotel to compete with Telkom in the fibre broadband market.
In the enterprise space, Sha says greater demand for fibre is spurring on bigger network builds.
“The challenge that many of these businesses face is that the demand for bandwidth is dependent on availability and ease of access, but the demand is needed to motivate for the investment in this infrastructure,” said Sha.