FTTH Council slates “no more fibre deployments” decision

The FTTH Council today (22 March 2012) called for an intervention from the Department of Communications after the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality placed a moratorium on all deployments of fibre.

“This is a gross violation of the rights of ECNS licensees and in complete violation of the Electronic Communications Act”, said Juanita Clark, CEO of the FTTH Council Africa.

“We have contacted the Municipality in this regard, and have given them until Friday to respond, after which we will get an urgent court order against the local authority and consider further steps to recover commercial losses from them.”

“The deployment of new networks will stimulate competition and drive access and prices down. It will also provide the country with higher bandwidth speeds than those currently available – South Africa currently ranks 6th in Africa,” the FTTH Council said.

“We have asked for intervention from the Department of Communication in this regard. The worst is that no reasons were given, and companies were just told to fill up trenches and get out of Ekurhuleni,” said Clark.

“This has resulted in approximately 4,570 job losses – and these are not even the final numbers as we are still waiting for some operators to inform us of their losses. As a country we cannot afford this, and as a democracy it is unacceptable,” Clark said.

“We have demanded that the moratorium be lifted with immediate effect or seek relief elsewhere. We have great faith in the Department of Communications to rectify the issue successfully,” Clark concluded.

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FTTH Council slates “no more fibre deployments” decision