R350m Mtunzini fibre link goes live - TechCentral

R350m Mtunzini fibre link goes live

Dark Fibre Africa has switched on a new, R350m fibre system linking Gauteng and Mtunzini on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast, saying the new route should put renewed downward pressure on broadband prices.

The route is the first between Johannesburg and the coastal town to operate on “open-access principles”. Dark Fibre Africa believes this could have a significant impact on the cost of connectivity for Internet service providers and telecommunications operators.

Mtunzini is the site of three submarine cable-landing points: Seacom, the East Africa Submarine System (Eassy) and the Sat-3/Safe cables all land there. Dark Fibre Africa will provide access to all three undersea systems.

Dark Fibre Africa CEO Gustav Smit

Until now, backhaul links between the town and SA’s economic hub of Gauteng have only been available from Telkom and state-owned Broadband Infraco.

The new cable system, which has a design capacity of 8Tbit/s, was built in 14 months and follows a route through towns such as eMalahleni (Witbank), Middelburg, Ermelo, Piet Retief, Stanger and Empangeni.

Dark Fibre Africa CEO Gustav Smit says the company has signed up two customers along the route so far, Seacom and Vodacom, and is at an “advanced stage of negotiations” with others.

The system consists of 540 fibre pairs. The link is capable of downloading more than 1 000 high-definition movies per second if each fibre pair is equipped at a conservative 10Gbit/s, the company says.

Meanwhile, Dark Fibre Africa is also working on a new, 160km backhaul fibre link between Cape Town and Yzerfontein on SA’s west coast. Yzerfontein is the landing site for the new West African Cable System, which should be ready for commercial service early next year.  — Duncan McLeod, TechCentral


  1. LOL what a laugh everytime a cable lands or new links are complete the articles always boast renewed downward pressure on broadband prices. And guess what nothing happens on the consumer side. Dah!!!

  2. @Greg Out of bundle rate still R2.00 a meg for those who don’t have bundles so guess what memory still good hey

  3. Only grudgingly when it comes to wireless broadband – unless your name is Cell C (LR)!

  4. Lars, when can we expect the 42 Mbps modems ? It been more than a month since the launch in PE.

  5. Joe, you do know that the “PE launch” was all BS? A single tower to create the impression there’s a network.

    As you pointed out, since the launch no information on where they’ve rolled out, modem availability, etc.

    It was just a marketing exercise.

  6. @Keith come on, don’t be silly – since all the new bandwidth come, there’s been tons of deals that have slashed bandwidth prices, overall the price has gone down significantly. And wired internet bandwidth prices have been slashed across the board. Isn’t Vodacom the only company clinging onto the R2 out of bundle prices? I’m pretty sure CellC shot those rates in the face long ago, and I went to MTN’s site to check, but got so confused by their data pricing plans I really couldn’t care, and just assume they’re also ripping everyone off by obfuscating their prices so. Go check it, it’s actually quite funny how convoluted their pricing is, and how badly it’s presented! I think they got Standard Bank’s people to write up their price lists.

  7. @Greg I know exactly what you mean but just to let you know I am a Cell C 5gig HSPA+ user been on it since Jan. I have to say Cell C are the only boys who have trully come to the party of wireless network providers. Wired is not for every one when you are no where within 10km of an exchange trust me on that. Of the 12 months that I had wired it worked for 3 out of 12 months died after every rainfaill and then listened to every telkom techinican blame the previous technician when they so called fixed it. Like I have said Cell C FTW!!! no other MNO comes close.

  8. Alastair Gray on

    Every step towards more capacity is good imho. Once WACS is online, there should be more competition! 🙂

  9. International Landings have no effect. But to have BACKHAUL not dependent on Telscum is BIG NEWS. DFA FTW!

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