SANRAL is making it hard to roll out fibre in South Africa – FTTx Council
2 August 2019
Despite significant progress in the roll-out of fibre networks to homes and businesses around South Africa, the local industry still faces tremendous obstacles.
Juanita Clark, the co-founder and CEO of FTTx Council Africa, said that these obstacles generally involve access to land and infrastructure. If these barriers could be overcome, then it would make it much cheaper and faster for network operators to deploy fibre.
Speaking at an Absa Insights event which was a collaboration between the FTTx Council and Digitalthings, Clarke highlighted three key hurdles that fibre network operators still face:
- Convincing local governments of the benefits of fibre infrastructure to get them to grant wayleaves — rights of way — for rolling out fibre.
- SANRAL is making it incredibly difficult to roll out fibre along their roads.
- Rapid deployment regulations are 14 years late.
“We need to make some serious decisions about our future,” Clark said.
“We all need to make a mental decision to create an industry that is sustainable, that is based on standards, that will survive for future generations long after we are gone.”
It was interesting to hear that network infrastructure providers in South Africa are still complaining about these three key issues, which have been obstacles since fibre was still in its infancy in South Africa.
In spite of the challenging circumstances, fibre companies in South Africa have made it work. Telkom’s wholesale and networking division, Openserve, no longer dominates the fixed-line access space in South Africa. Read the full article on MyBroadband here