FibreCo Telecommunications (“FibreCo”), a joint venture between Cell C, Convergence Partners and Internet Solutions, announced the awarding of a contract for construction of its nation-wide open-access fibre optic network. FibreCo’s objective is to facilitate affordable and reliable high-speed Internet access for South African citizens and businesses.
The initial phase of FibreCo’s development will result in the creation of 2,300 direct and indirect job opportunities. FibreCo will also facilitate the training of at least 100 fibre optic technicians who will be involved during construction and maintenance of the network in all provinces along its route. Furthermore, FibreCo will make heavily subsidized fibre capacity available to academic and research institutions, enabling greater innovation in the use of information and technology.
FibreCo’s total investment will amount to R5 billion.
The Company envisages the development of a national network stretching over 12,000 km. Phase 1 involves linking up Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban as well as the East and West coast submarine cable landing stations.
Andile Ngcaba, Chairman of FibreCo, said: “This landmark investment will provide affordable, reliable and fast Internet access to ordinary South Africans.”
FibreCo proudly announced that they have awarded the contract to ZTE for the network construction and supply of technology equipment. ZTE is China’s largest publicly listed global provider of telecommunications equipment and network solutions. Work on the initial leg of Phase 1 is already underway, which is a 1,900 km link between Johannesburg and Cape Town via the Free State and Eastern Cape valued at R1 billion.
FibreCo has also signed capacity purchase agreements with its first 3 clients for the Johannesburg-Cape Town route, namely BT, Cell C and Internet Solutions, allowing them ownership of fibre infrastructure and the ability to build bespoke optical transmission networks.
Arif Hussain, CEO of FibreCo, commented: “We are delighted to welcome BT, a client with a truly global brand, to the FibreCo network alongside Cell C and Internet Solutions, who have been valued partners since inception. On the strength of these contracts, coupled with the financial backing of our shareholders, we have secured the necessary funding”.
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