FibreCo Telecommunications (“FibreCo”), a partnership between Cell C, Internet Solutions and Convergence Partners, is making excellent progress with its plans for the deployment of its open-access long-haul terrestrial fibre optic broadband network in South Africa.
FibreCo, established in 2009, will develop infrastructure where necessary and leverage already available fibre networks and other relationships to provide the most efficient route combinations. FibreCo will offer a fully managed monitoring and maintenance service of the network on a 24/7 basis for its tenants.
The geotechnical and environmental studies for the first routes have already been completed, and the tender process is progressing. A wide range of other essential elements relating to permitting, engineering, environmental management and development of detailed customer solutions are also ongoing.
Whilst the initial phase of the project focuses on rolling out a 4,500km redundant core ring linking Gauteng, Cape Town and Durban to international cable landing stations by the end of 2012, FibreCo expects partial routes, including the Johannesburg to Cape Town link, to come on stream earlier to assist with the market requirement for additional capacity between the two regions. The subsequent two phases will ultimately see a total distance in excess of 12,000km being covered.
“The project is on track, with good progress being made on the key activities supporting the development of FibreCo’s network, including negotiations with local and international network implementation partners, governmental authorities and various other market players,” said Arif Hussain, CEO of FibreCo. “We have also been engaging actively with various role players within the education and research communities to explore ways of helping them to leverage the strong economic benefits of fibre ownership.”
Cell C’s extensive national wireless network will provide the platform for the co-location of optical transmission equipment at their base stations as well as wireless access solutions for FibreCo’s customers. Through Internet Solutions, FibreCo has access to deep capabilities in the delivery of value-added networking solutions into the enterprise market, including facilities for the hosting of its customers optical termination equipment in urban centres. Convergence Partners contributes unmatched expertise in the development and financial structuring of large scale telecommunications infrastructure projects.
By Angela Meadon