Telkom wants to double and accelerate its investment into fibre-to-the-home (FFTH) and the country’s fixed-line telephone group CEO, Sipho Maseko, said the company would have passed 1 million houses by 2018. By Gugu Lourie
Speaking at Telkom’s annual Satnac technology conference, held at Arabella, Hermanus, Maseko said the company is aiming to pass 70 000 homes connected with fibre by end of this year and targeting 150 000 by March next year.
Maseko said the company has alreay passed 38 000 homes by end of August 2015 that are now connected to its fibre network.
“We are doubling and accelerating our investment into FFTH,” said Maseko.
Last week, MTN said it has expanded its FTTH footprint in the Western Cape.
Vox Telecom is also rolling its FTTH services and VumaTel is aggressively connecting surburbs to the fibre network.
Maseko said Telkom is committed to democratising broadband access.
“We have set ourselves the objective of contributing to transforming the South African economy. South Africa is a developing democracy. We want to accelerate this development.”
Earlier this year, Telkom alluded to the potential for it to become an open-access operator. The company today confirmed that it will open copper access at 200 exchanges on a trial basis, thus effectively paving the way for a more open access approach, depending on the outcome of the trial. Telkom is committed to the establishment of an open-access regime for the entire industry to realise South Africa’s objectives.
Maseko called on mobile operators to join Telkom to bridge the digital divide.
“If we are to overcome the access deficit, and in light of the mobile revolution and the benefits this has engendered, South Africa needs to see wholesale access to the mobile local loop and active sharing of the radio access network. This is an imperative and an important precursor for democratising broadband.”