Frogfoot Networks (Pty) Ltd, a licensed open access fibre network provider and wholly-owned subsidiary of integrated ICT and connectivity provider Vox, has recently secured funding to deploy fibre to the home (FTTH) to 15,000 homes in Gauteng and the Western Cape as part of a 24-month roll-out programme.
“At the beginning of 2016, we embarked on an aggressive FTTH expansion programme and committed to deploy FTTH to 85,000 homes. We are currently in the process of building the infrastructure to over 16,000 homes, and with the additional funding are now able to fast-track the deployment to 15,100 homes in 2017,” says Abraham van der Merwe, Co-founder and Managing Director of Frogfoot.
“2018 will see the deployment of the remaining 53,300 homes, although it is likely that this figure will grow substantially as the demand for FTTH continues. There is a massive appetite for fibre in South Africa, which is mainly driven by the current state of the existing cabled network that is simply not meeting the needs of the consumer. Today, users want high speed, uninterrupted connectivity at work and home, and it is this frustration that is driving fervent demand.”
As a result of this demand, there is still huge growth potential in the FTTH sector. As traditional content consumption habits evolve to become increasingly push based, the bandwidth requirements can only realistically be delivered over fibre.
“Viewing push content using a DSL link is challenging and while switching to high-speed LTE is the obvious option, it is a pricey alternative. Also, LTE – fixed or Wi-Fi – will never give the bandwidth capacity that fibre offers and simply won’t meet demand.”
Van der Merwe explains that the addressable FTTH market is between three million and six million homes, which means that Frogfoot currently have two per cent market saturation and reaffirms its growth strategy.
“Although deployment is driven by the commercial viability of the project and consumer demand, there remains huge untapped possibility,” concludes van der Merwe.