Privately held telecommunications company Vox has announced plans to build a national long-distance fibre network, starting with a link to Richards Bay in KwaZulu-Natal.
The focus will be on areas beyond the major metropolitan areas, Vox said on Friday. It didn’t say how much it will invest in the network.
“Most of the players have focused their fibre efforts on the large metros — Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban — targeting the higher income groups,” said Vox CEO Jacques du Toit. “What they are forgetting are the smaller towns that support a big part of the economic growth and GDP for the country.”
The Vox-led long-distance fibre project will take high-speed fibre and wireless connectivity to the eastern parts of the country, extending from Witbank through Middelburg, Secunda, Ermelo, Piet Retief, Paulpietersburg; Melmoth, Empangeni, Richards Bay and Ballito.
The network will be built by Vox subsidiary Frogfoot Networks. Vox acquired Frogfoot in 2015.
The network will be open access, allowing other service providers to use it to sell services to customers. Vox said it will launch its own “competitively priced” connectivity packages supporting the customer services requirements of businesses in the towns along the route.
“There are still some economic factors to consider, and it isn’t immediately possible to deploy fibre in every single one of these towns,” Du Toit said. “We know the backhaul will improve the overall connectivity experience, but fibre will only be feasible (for now) in Witbank, Middelburg, Empangeni and Richards Bay.”
For the other towns, Vox plans to deploy wireless links via high-capacity backhaul. — © 2016 NewsCentral Media