DFA expands to outlying towns

By Craig Wilson

10 December 2012

Klerksdorp in North West will get 120km of fibre-optic cable over the next six months thanks to investment by Dark Fibre Africa.

Open-access fibre-optic telecommunications infrastructure supplier Dark Fibre Africa (DFA) is investing more than R81m over the next six months in 120km of new links in Klerksdorp in North West province.

DFA has already laid more than 6 700km if fibre around the country at a cost of more than R3,5bn. The company says its ongoing expansion into smaller cities and towns will allow Internet service providers (ISPs) to go after new markets.

DFA CEO Gustav Smit says the company’s network is the fastest-growing open-access fibre-optic infrastructure in the country. “The network is used by companies such as cellular network operators Cell C, Vodacom and MTN and landline network operator Telkom, as well as ISPs like Internet Solutions and MWeb, media companies and high Internet usage corporations,” he says.

DFA connects to all of the major undersea cables landing on South Africa’s shores, including Seacom, Eassy, Wacs and Sat-3.

“South Africans simply don’t know what 20Mbit/s or 100Mbit/s to the home means,” Smit says. “An opportunity needs to be created for users to test drive serious broadband and ISPs need to play a leading role in mobilising communities. We will be taking on some risk as we work to get fibre to every business and many homes [and] we anticipate 20% take-up over the next four years.”