DFA reaches 5,000km fibre milestone

Dark Fibre Africa (DFA) announced today (23 February 2012) that it has laid more than 5,000 kilometres of fibre infrastructure.

DFA, which currently employs over 200 permanent staff and over 6,000 people through its business partners, added that they have an expenditure plan in excess of R3-billion.

“Besides the labour benefits, we also provide the infrastructure that enables licensed operators like Vodacom, MTN and Cell C to give communities access to the network,” says DFA CEO Gustav Smit.

“Our footprint extends nationally and links with the SEACOM and the EASSy cables at Mthunzini in KwaZulu Natal and links to the WACS cable at Yzerfontein and the SAT 3 cable at Melkbosstrand in the Western Cape,” says Smit.

Long haul infrastructure accounts for approximately 20 percent of the infrastructure whilst South Africa’s highest-density metropolitan areas accounts for the balance.

According to DFA, Gauteng metropolitan boasts more than 1,800 km of open fibre network while Cape Town follows with approximately 800 km. Durban and Pretoria have over 600 km each.

DFA says that it plans to roll-out another 700 km in secondary cities and towns before the end of 2012.

“The infrastructure is available,” Smit says, it is now up to the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to get fibre based internet connectivity to communities.

“ISP’s should be proactive in getting fibre rolled out to businesses and homes within South Africa. There is fibre in virtually every street in Sandton, you can fibre up every building there but there has been little momentum from the ISP side.”

Smit has once again called on ISPs to start leading projects like these and said that ISPs must play a leading role to mobilise communities.

“End users simply don’t know what 20Mbps or 100Mbps to the home is, an opportunity needs to be created for users to test drive serious broadband,” Smit concluded.

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DFA reaches 5,000km fibre milestone