04 Jul South Africa: FibreCo to target smaller towns, starting with Kroonstad
Long-distance South African fibre provider FibreCo Telecommunications plans to connect towns on its national backhaul routes, starting with Kroonstad in the northern Free State, it said on Tuesday.
Kroonstad is the Free State’s third largest town after Bloemfontein, the capital, and Welkom.
“Given that only 5.4% of households in the province have access to the Internet at home and that only 9.9% have access at work, it’s clear that there is an urgent need to hasten access to high-speed broadband connectivity,” FibreCo said in a statement, citing research from Statistics South Africa.
Kroonstad is the first town along the FibreCo national fibre route between Johannesburg and Cape Town to have fibre rolled out by the company.
“The FibreCo Kroonstad connectivity project is the first in our town connectivity strategy, which plans to connect many more towns along our 4 000km national fibre route,” said CEO Simon Harvey.
“The biggest challenge to universal broadband is infrastructure cost. FibreCo’s open-access model in Kroonstad allows any number of service providers and operators to buy connectivity without the large capital outlay, making it significantly more affordable than if they were to build the infrastructure themselves,” he said.
The company plans to work with Internet service providers, including wireless providers and mobile operators, to provide high-speed broadband services.
Access Global is the first ISP to partner with FibreCo in Kroonstad.
“FibreCo has already provided high-speed broadband connectivity services to clinics in Kroonstad, one of which is the first clinic to ever receive direct fibre through a fixed-fibre termination point,” said FibreCo business development executive Sammy Mafu.
FibreCo, which is a joint venture between Cell C, Dimension Data and Convergence Partners, has also installed a fixed-fibre node at the Moqhaka municipality, with its own dedicated 1Gbit/s-ready connectivity node.