Dark Fibre Africa (DFA) has announced a new “shaped fibre” service on its Johannesburg-Durban route through which service providers can pay by the gigabit-per-second rather than for a full fibre pair.
Speaking at the 2012 MyBroadband conference, DFA CEO Gustav Smit explained that Shaped Fibre is still a pair of fibre, but they measure the bandwidth that customers put on it.
“It should result in massive cost savings compared to what we offered before, and compared to what is available in the ‘managed services’ market at the moment,” Smit said.
Asked about the type of equipment they had to put in place, Smit said that they install a non-intrusive capacity throughput monitoring device on spare fibres that are already installed on their 900km route.
This device only measures the speed at which data packets are transmitted on the fibre pair, Smit said.
He added that it was important to note that they still do not light fibre or sell managed services: the customer still installs his own equipment on their dark fibre, but only pays for the speeds at which they transmit their data.
Customers can get to Mtunzini via this route, where the Seacom, EASSy, and SAT3 undersea cables land. However, Smit said that ISPs can buy Seacom bandwidth in Johannesburg or Durban, from Seacom, at the same price.
Seacom currently picks up the cost of the bandwidth from its landing station to Teraco in Isando and River Horse Valley, Smit said, adding that Seacom traffic to Durban and Isando also runs on the DFA fibre routes.
Questioned about pricing, Smit said that the current DFA lease price for a pair of dark fibre between Teraco River Horse Valley and Persequor Park in Pretoria, is R900,000 per month. “There is no limitation on bandwidth volume or bandwidth speeds on this option,” Smit said.
The new “Shaped Fibre” will cost the customer R200,000 per month for up to 1Gbps, R300,000 per month for up to 2.5Gbps and R500,000 per month for up to 5Gbps.
“Should you go beyond 5Gbps, the current unlimited option at R900,000 per month will apply,” Smit said. “This is a price reduction of 78% on the 1 Gbps option.”