Octotel on 1Gbps fibre and rolling out in Cape Town

Octotel recently announced that it plans to pass 100,000 homes within the next year.

The fibre infrastructure player said it has passed 60,000 homes in Cape Town to date, and has been “overwhelmed by the response” from Capetonians for fibre.

Rob Gilmour, Octotel MD, said the company built over 700km of trenched fibre network covering Cape Town’s Atlantic Seaboard, City Bowl, Southern and Northern Suburbs, and Blouberg in 2017.

Its growth in the Cape Town area has been possible, in part, thanks to a close working relationship with local municipalities.

“We have focused on building our first 100,000 homes in the Western Cape,” said the company.

“This focus allows us to build long-term working relationships and I believe the Western Cape off the back of this is becoming fairly progressive with a good understanding of what is required to deliver successful FTTH projects.”

Octotel said local municipalities have different ways of interpreting how best to work with licensed fibre operators, but it is always best to work closely with a municipality and ensure submitted applications and work carried out by the infrastructure provider is up to a high standard.

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In terms of Octotel’s fibre network, the company said it has noticed a migration trend from 10Mbps and 20Mbps lines to 100Mbps and faster connections.

“Most ISPs sell uncapped services on our network, but the trend towards higher-speed symmetrical packages came sooner than we expected,” said Octotel.

“I don’t think we as an industry expected the take-up of HD online video to be fast, and it has become clear that the market craves more online video content.”

This has been driven by the influx of local and international streaming services, it added.

At the top of the speed pyramid is the 1Gbps FTTH connection, which Octotel said has seen an increase in demand from clients.

“On the Octotel network, the marginal cost difference up to a 1Gbps service makes it very appealing,” it said.

“Today’s homes during peak times have numerous connected devices streaming video simultaneously and it is not unheard of for a family of four to saturate a 100Mbps connection.”

“This trend will only continue as the quality of video content increases – along with it’s bandwidth requirement.”

Octotel said video quality is “a bit like the arms race right now” and broadband players are only touching the surface of what bandwidth homes will require in the future.

Now read: Openserve’s million-home fibre push

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Octotel on 1Gbps fibre and rolling out in Cape Town