FibreCo’s ambitious optic network plans
Feb 11,2014 0 Comments
About 2,400km of the network is already live interconnecting Johannesburg, Bloemfontein, East London and Cape Town as well as providing the shortest and fastest optical fibre connectivity between these cities today.
Information Communications Technology company FibreCo Telecommunications announced in East London today that it is training 20 Eastern Cape candidates who will benefit from its drive to build South Africa’s largest long-distance open access fibre optic network, the first phase of which will span over 5,000 km.
A total of 2,400km of the network is already live interconnecting Johannesburg, Bloemfontein, East London and Cape Town as well as providing the shortest and fastest optical fibre connectivity between these cities today..
The company says this landmark achievement comes roughly 2 years after it initially announced that it had signed an agreement with ZTE Corporation of China for the construction of its long distance fibre-optic cable system, as well as having secured BT, Cell C and Internet Solutions as the first 3 Key Anchor Tenants on its network. MTN is the first operator to light up new capacity on FibreCo’s network between Johannesburg and East London, a key landing point in a province with one of the highest levels of broadband deprivation. FibreCo’s total investment in this first link is over R700m.
This training programme comes after FibreCo, in partnership with ZTE, made clear its intention in May 2012 to afford at least 200 technicians around the country the opportunity to gain internationally recognised certification in order to transfer skills for the maintenance of fibre optic infrastructure in communities close to where its network is located. FibreCo aims to integrate some of the successful candidates into the operations and maintenance of its network. The profile of the trainees in East London has extended to SMME employees and further education and training train-the-trainer candidates.
“On completion of the FibreCo fibre optic training programme, these 20 candidates in East London will join 30 others who have already completed the programme in Bloemfontein. The primary focus of the course is to provide a comprehensive coverage of the best practices for the deployment of optical communication networks. Optical fibre installation, fusion and mechanical splicing, connectorisation, acceptance testing, troubleshooting and much more is taught with lots of hands-on practice,” says FibreCo chief executive Arif Hussain.
Hussain say this programme is accredited by the Fibre Optic Association (FOA), which commands international recognition in the fibre networking industry, and should ensure that trainee candidates are better qualified to apply for new job opportunities which will arise in the operation and maintenance of FibreCo’s network and of other fibre networks.
The curriculum includes fibre optic technical training, financial management skills as well as entrepreneurial skills and health and safety.
FibreCo Chairman Andile Ngcaba says the company is pleased that the Eastern Cape government has come out in full support of interventions such as these in the ICT space.
“This is clear from the establishment by the Office of the Premier of a provincial ICT steering committee which is tasked with advising the Premier on sector initiatives within the Eastern Cape. The establishment of the steering committee should result in the integration of provincial ICT initiatives in different departments and agencies for efficient resource utilisation.
“The Premier herself has stated that she regards ICT as a central nervous system of government operations and currently accounts for the majority of capital expenditures within government. It should therefore be treated with at least the same due diligence as any other capital investments in the province. Sound business cases that support our economic development strategy in the province must be created,” says Ngcaba.