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Didata to fibre up buildings

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Dimension Data and Growthpoint Properties have signed a five-year exclusive partnership deal in terms of which the IT group will evaluate the feasibility of providing open-access broadband Internet access to Growthpoint’s 353 commercial and industrial properties across South Africa.

Occupants of the properties could receive faster, more reliable Internet access as a result of the partnership, the two companies said in a statement.

Growthpoint Properties is the largest South African listed property company, with property assets valued at more than R50bn. The company owns 50% of the properties of the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.

Growthpoint director Rudolf Pienaar said reliable, fast Internet is an attractive incentive for business. Fellow director Engelbert Binedell says high-speed Internet is usually associated with office buildings, but the deal with Dimension Data will result in premises used for manufacturing, warehousing and distribution hooked up as well. “More reliable broadband connectivity has become essential for these clients.”

Although South Africa is well-served by high-speed submarine fibre, last-mile connectivity into businesses is a barrier to entry. “If a building isn’t wired up, or if it isn’t in a major centre, businesses still can’t access all this bandwidth potential,” says Pienaar.

Growthpoint clients will be able to choose their Internet service provider. “It creates an opportunity for small service providers not capable of deploying their own infrastructure, to offer their services to businesses in Growthpoint buildings,” Pienaar said. “Open access means that all service providers can access the infrastructure on an equal footing.”

Growthpoint’s properties outside major metropolitan areas are included in the project.

“While South Africa has a long way to go in embracing technology and truly integrating it into our buildings, more and more businesses are beginning to expect this level of sophistication and simplicity for their premises,” Pienaar said.  — (c) 2013 NewsCentral Media

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