The FTTH/B landgrab is underway and neighbourhoods all over South Africa are being inundated with holes, digging, orange bunting and promises of super-fast speeds. Fibre is in the home, the SME and the city, but what does this mean for the future of the business?
How will FTTH enable companies in terms of allowing people to work from home?
Working from home is not solely dependent on the shift from ADSL or 3G connectivity to fibre-based connectivity. FTTH does however enable a more stable, reliable, high speed connectivity that makes accessing tools like skype, email and cloud-based services, easier and quicker. We believe that this will fast forward the notion of the remote workforce, but will require a cultural shift amongst South African organisations.
Will there finally be a shift from the drive-to-a-meeting mentality to the online space?
The drive-to-a-meeting mentality is less about the technology available, and more about our culture as a social economy. While the stability and speed of fibre-based connectivity provides a more seamless experience with online meetings, and video based conversations, adoption of this approach will depend more on our workforce, than on the technology.
How will security impact this and what challenges need to be considered for it to become a reality?
The reality is that high throughput and remote accessibility will enable more vehicles for attack and companies will need to ensure a more stringent and inclusive security strategy - across a range of protocols, devices and connectivity platforms. That being said, the positives of fibre connectivity - to the home, or to the business - far outweighs the negatives. With awareness, and vigilance, attacks can be minimised and risks more effectively managed.
Will the connections be reliable and swift enough to ensure functional capability at home?
Absolutely. Fibre provides a more reliable, high speed connectivity capability that ensure lower latency and less buffering for video based tools. FTTH/B will deliver functional capabilities with relative ease, and unlock greater opportunities for additional tools that drive collaboration in the business.
How ready is the South African corporate to release the traffic and embrace the virtual workforce and will it allow the employee with fibre to stay home and increase their productivity?
We feel that the workforce is potentially closer to being ready to embrace a hybrid approach to working - combining hot desking, with remote working. It will take a significant cultural shift from corporates that have become accustomed to have an office bound workforce. There is no doubt that FTTH/B can fast forward the idea of a virtual workforce - and we believe it is going to be a matter of when, rather than if. Hot desking and remote working will become the norm, and will be enabled by the technology and capabilities of fibre-based connectivity.