Telecommunications provider Vox, has signaled its intention to take fibre connectivity beyond the major cities with a national long distance network that will connect Richards Bay, situated between Durban and Kosi Bay. From there, it will connect smaller towns in kwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga
“Most of the players have focused their fibre efforts on the large metros – Johannesburg; Cape Town and Durban – targeting the higher income groups,” says Jacques du Toit, CEO of Vox, “They are forgetting 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 belt of the country, extending from Witbank through Middelburg, Secunda, Ermelo, Piet Retief, Paulpietersburg; Melmoth, Empangeni, Richards Bay and Ballito.
“There are still some economic factors to consider, and it isn’t immediately possible to deploy fibre in every single one of these towns,” he says. “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 along the eastbound leg of the country, we will deploy wireless links via a high capacity backhaul and change their connectivity experience for the better.
“We have spoken to residents who have told us that their internet services are limited to basic website searches and social media applications. No YouTube, Netflix or ShowMax, in fact no OTT offerings available at all.”
Suddenly, the towns on this route, will go from best effort basic services, to having the capability to leverage ERP and CRM in the cloud, in fact, just about any cloud-based solutions or services. These tools and technologies will not only improve connectivity, but will impact education, business efficiencies and service delivery.”
Although this is a Vox-led initiative, and the network will be built and deployed by Frogfoot Networks, it will offer open access, allowing customers freedom of choice. The company will launch its own connectivity packages, supporting the customer services requirements of businesses in the towns.