Telkom has revealed a plan to speed up its copper-based broadband digital subscriber line network to up to 100Mbit/s.
The telecommunications group’s CEO, Sipho Maseko, said at its annual results presentation in Midrand on Monday that it plans to deploy G.fast technology to speed up its legacy copper network into homes and businesses.
The technology is, however, suited only to short copper loops, not to providing services that are far from the company’s telephone exchanges. This means that only a portion of Telkom’s DSL base is set to benefit from the performance improvements.
Maseko said G.fast will allow Telkom to provide high-speed broadband to “a lot more people without having to spend hundreds of millions of rand” to replace copper local loops with fibre. He hinted that Telkom will deploy G.fast technology especially to blocks of flats and housing estates.
Alphonzo Samuels, CEO of Telkom wholesale subsidiary Openserve, said the company will run a trial of the technology in nine neighbourhoods before rolling it out commercially.
G.fast is a DSL protocol aimed at improving performance over local loops that are shorter than 500m, offering theoretical speeds of up to 1Gbit/s (for distances of less than 100m).
Openserve said in a statement issued later on Monday that G.fast technology “utilises the copper tail or drop wire within the customer premises (as an alternative access technology), to deliver high-speed broadband where viable”.
‘Among the first’
“Openserve is among the first few companies to utilise this technology globally and is geared to rapidly expand its high-speed broadband footprint across the country,” said Samuels in the statement.
“In areas where Openserve has an access fibre footprint, it is now possible for residents in townhouse complexes, smaller gated communities, multi-dwelling units and office parks, who already have existing copper access lines, to experience high speed broadband speeds of up to 100Mbit/s.
“G.fast helps us overcome the hesitation that many homeowners’ associations and bodies corporate of multiple-dwelling complexes have with granting permissions to upgrade infrastructure on their properties. We’ve now have found a way to better make use of infrastructure that is already in place, thus reducing any disruption or possible harm to the aesthetics of the estate or the associated expense.”
Openserve said it will extend the access fibre in a suburb to an equipment room, typically in the basement or gatehouse, where the copper access distribution point is situated in a complex.
“A G.fast node will be installed where the fibre extension is terminated and complex residents will now have access to the higher broadband speeds available utilising the existing copper tail/drop wire.”
Openserve clients will be notified of specific areas when services become available via G.fast technology.
Telkom has already invested in very high-speed DSL, or VDSL, technology to offer broadband over copper at speeds of up to 40Mbit/s. — (c) 2017 NewsCentral Media