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.
ABOUT USLink Africa builds and operates fibre optic networks using patented methods on various modes of municipal infrastructure.