Conduct Telecommunications, a last mile open-access fibre provider, is rapidly expanding its fibre network in Gauteng and has now launched its first fibre-ready area in Cape Town. Having provisioned open-access fibre to several businessesin Claremont, Conduct plans to soon expand to commercial precincts in Stellenbosch, Westlake, Muizenburg, Tygerberg, Bellville and Milnerton.
By proactively connecting commercial premises to dark fibre, Conduct makes the fibre available to third-party Internet Service Providers that 'light' and sell capacity and services over the infrastructure to its clients.
The company’s CEO Johan Pretorius explains that Conduct focuses on last mile connectivity. “There is sufficient network capacity deployed in the cities by several operators, we are not duplicating this. The problem is getting from these fibre routes into the buildings and to the end customer. This is where we are focusing on closing the gap.”
“While this has been happening and as adoption of fibre steadily grows, it remains relatively expensive to most enterprises. However, by installing on risk, we leverage economies of scale to improve efficiencies and drive down costs, which in turn, sparks adoption.”
An open-access network provides access to all service providers on equal terms and occupants are therefore free to choose the best service offering from any service provider. Optical fibre offers almost limitless bandwidth capabilities, has excellent reliability and provides occupants with the possibility of fast, world-class services.
Pretorius says Conduct is creating an environment that stimulates growth in this market by putting the fibre infrastructure in place. “We need to create new and dynamic markets for ISPs. Once open-access fibre is in place, better services will emerge as service providers compete for clients.”
Conduct has already connected more than 2,000 enterprises to open-access fibre and aims to deploy further fibre in Johannesburg and Cape Town this year, with a target of connecting over 8,000 enterprises to open-access fibre by the end of 2014.
He says service providers utilise their open-access network to supply anywhere between 2Mbps and 1Gbps connections to businesses. "They have access to the fibre on equal terms and can now compete on quality, cost and type of services. This gives end-users choice."
Hundreds of commercial premises in Johannesburg have already connected to the fibre in areas such as Hyde Park, Rosebank, Chislehurston, Illovo, Sandton, Bryanston, Rivonia and recently Randburg. New fibre rollouts are taking place in Sunninghill, Woodmead, Midrand and Rivonia, while simultaneously building out several areas in the Western Cape.
“The key to creating world-class connectivity in South Africa is to eliminate duplication of infrastructure, it is costly and disruptive. By having a logical separation between infrastructure and the services deployed across it, we will create capital efficiencies by effectively sharing the cost among the industry. This ultimately helps drive down the price which will lead to greater adoption," he concludes.