Telecoms frontrunner and former Dimension Data director Richard Came has acquired a 10 percent shareholding in Conduct Telecommunications for an undisclosed amount. He will be appointed as chairman of the Conduct board from 01 May 2013.
For many years, Came has been a key player and trendsetter in the fibre-optic arena in South Africa. He is currently president of the FTTH Council and also a shareholder in Dark Fibre Africa (DFA).
Conduct is a last-mile fibre-optic telecommunications operator which invests in open access fibre in the last-mile proactivley connecting commercial premises to dark fibre. It then provides the fibre to third-party Internet service providers that ‘light’ and sell capacity and services on the connections to its clients.
Came says Conduct has huge growth potential, especially considering that fibre is new to the local enterprise market. “There has been significant investment in both longhaul and metropolitan networks by the likes of DFA and other operators to support the needs of the mobile operators. This has created a tremendous potential capacity for bandwidth, but the means for ordinary businesses and citizens to access this remains limited.”
“This is mainly due to the cost to access this infrastructure that has remained prohibitive. Conduct is changing this. If we get it right, and it is a very real challenge for us still, Conduct will benefit not only the end user, but also the metro-networks as it drives utilisation of existing infrastructure,” he explains.
Conduct CEO Johan Pretorius says they are in talks with other investors and will be making announcements shortly. “We welcome Richard Came to our board, he has a tremendous track-record in this industry and has for a long time been a vocal advocate of the importance to fibre.”
“His experience and understanding of this market place is an invaluable asset to us. He will be instrumental in our efforts to fast track the roll-out of last-mile fibre optics to key precincts in high density business areas,” says Pretorius.
Conduct provides dark fibre to ISP’s rather than serving end users directly. Service providers utilise their open-access network to supply between 2Mbit/s and 1Gbit/s connections to businesses.
“We are infrastructure providers, we focus on the last mile exclusively. We want to focus where the need is right now. The beauty of open access fibre is that any service provider can utilise our infrastructure. Therein lies the efficiency we need to bridge the last mile,” he concludes.