As Black Friday flared to life at the end of last week, shoppers around the globe flocked to storefronts – both physical and digital – to snare the best deal. Though foot traffic through the doors of physical shops continues to beggar belief, more and more people are heading online to do their shopping. The internet has changed the retail landscape, and it’s part and parcel of everyday life for a great many South Africans too.
On 24 October, 2016, Link Africa launched an urgent high court interdict application in the Durban High Court. The reason? A landlord was denying our team the right to provide fibre optic internet to our clients on the property.
One of the intrinsic tenets upon which the fibre industry is built is the right to “open access”: the idea that the internet is not owned by any one firm, landlord or municipal body, and can be provided to tenants by any specialist service provider. This makes pricing, availability and service competitive and healthy across the board.
For years, many landlords have struck exclusive deals with Internet Service Providers to gate off access to outside firms. These exclusivity deals fly in the face of open access and are patently illegal.
Internet penetration in South Africa is on the rise and the right to a quality connection has become paramount, but in the end, consumers don’t always know what they’re paying for.
As one of South Africa’s best-loved installers of Fibre, Link Africa is at the cutting edge of fibre optic technology, an innovation that will supplant ADSL within a matter of years.
But if you’re juggling a busy schedule, you don’t want the hassle of trying to work out what makes ADSL and Fibre different.
That’s why we’ve put together a handy guide that unpacks the two side by side, giving you a clear picture of the differences between the two.
Fibre is going to change the internet landscape in South Africa forever. It provides exponentially more bandwidth than copperbased ADSL and the speeds will continue to skyrocket. The only limitation is the infrastructure we build to support this fibre future.
Imagine being in possession of gigabit-a-second speeds running through your home. Well, for some homeowners that thought is already a reality. In three years’ time, who knows what the ceiling will be.
So, what does limitless broadband mean for you as the homeowner? How about the possibility of streaming television 24/7; an end to buffering; the ability to connect your devices to virtual reality. Soon that satellite dish on your roof will soon be a thing of the past. So too your landline, as Voice-Over-Fibre completes eliminates the need for it.
Make no mistake: the internet has become a basic human resource. South African legislation agrees and since the Electronic Communications Act (ECA) was signed into law in 2005, telecoms companies can provide internet to consumers in both public and private spaces.
At Link Africa, we have installed fibre in South Africa’s underground network of sewers and storm drains, successfully engaging local government on the issue and using the public the domain for the greater good of internet penetration in the country. But the private domain is also within our coverage, and we’re proud to be participating in an industry where competition is encouraged and where the end consumer ultimately has healthy choices to make.
The emergence of fibre in South Africa is cause for celebration, as the ultra-fast fibre optic cables transmit data exponentially faster than ADSL copper.
But, by the same token, what good is the innovation if it’s only accessible to South Africa’s elite?
To address this concern, Link Africa has teamed up with Vast – an open-access WiFi provider with hotspots throughout the country – to take fibre to South Africa’s underprivileged township communities, as well as extending fibre’s reach to public areas, like shopping centres, libraries and taxi ranks.
We believe this project will significantly improve the lives of township residents and will enrich public spaces in the country.
ABOUT USLink Africa builds and operates fibre optic networks using patented methods on various modes of municipal infrastructure.