FibreSuburb: FTTH arrives in SA suburb

ATEC Systems and Technologies has completed the first phase of a large fibre network rollout to create South Africa’s first non-gated fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) community.

ATEC has for a long time offered FTTH services in gated communities, office parks and hotels, but this is the company’s first non-gated FTTH rollout.

This FTTH deployment, in the affluent suburb of Clifton in Cape Town, was done by deploying a Fibre Optic Network for the distribution of the DSTV signal from a centralized satellite dish.

The deployment was completed early in January 2012 and residents are already using the full set of DSTV services.

“Clifton has a unique problem in that the satellite signal for DSTV is blocked by the mountain and Leeukop. In effect most parts of Clifton have not been able to get full DSTV services since the inception of the service from Multichoice”, said Gerhard Loots, Commercial Director of ATEC.

Gerhard Loots
Gerhard Loots

ATEC addressed this seventeen year old problem by deploying a proof of concept FibreSuburb network in Nettleton Road. This entailed the installation of an FTTH network to bring the DSTV service as part of the initial deployment.

The second phase of the FibreSuburb deployment entails the installation of a FTTH network for a second section of Clifton in Victoria Road and adding broadband services to the current DSTV service.

As part of Phase 2, ATEC FibreSuburb customers will have the option to add broadband speeds of 10Mbps, 20Mbps and 50Mbps, VoIP based voice services, cloud computing and security products to their DSTV services.

“In future the TV services will be expanded to provide IPTV, Over-the-Top TV as well as Video on demand services,” said Loots.

ATEC said that the monthly costs will be similarly structured to existing fixed line pricing structures, consisting of a line rental portion, Internet service (capped or uncapped) and then added services (like DStv or voice calls).

One exception, said Loots, is that no customer will be expected to pay for telephone line rental (as is required with ADSL Lines).

Loots says that the access fee for a 50Mbps connection will be under R1,000 per month with Internet rates between R10 and R30 per GB depending on the size of the package.

ATEC is also planning to upgrade the networks of its current copper based FibreSuburb customers in Llandudno, Camps Bay and Hout Bay to prepare them for full Multi-play services.

As the business case for deployment of a FibreSuburb network depends on community member’s willingness to contribute financially to the cost of installing the network, ATEC invites communities to contact them to determine the cost and feasibility of a deployment in their suburb. The once-off connection fee (to install fibre to a home) ranges between R25,000 and R50,000.

Loots further revealed that their FTTH service will not only focus on exclusive areas like Cape Town’s Atlantic seaboard, and that they are planning similar services in areas where housing is far more affordable.

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FibreSuburb: FTTH arrives in SA suburb