Dark Fibre Africa announces affordable shaped fibre offering

Local open-access dark fibre infrastructure provider Dark Fibre Africa (DFA) has introduced an affordable shaped fibre offering, hoping it will “transform the way people do business in future.”

DFA’s CEO Gustav Smit said that this offering should result in massive cost savings, especially compared to what is available in the ‘managed services’ market at the moment.

Customers will pay a fixed monthly lease based on the transmission speed they need.

DFA says this offering will utilise its long-haul route from KwaZulu-Natal to Gauteng. Licensed service providers can now pay by the gigabit-per-second rather than for a full fibre pair.

DFA’s extensive metro fibre networks in Gauteng and Durban are linked to the long-haul connection points in Pretoria and Durban. This means points of presence in these metro areas can be linked to the long-haul route easily.

Smit further said that long-haul bandwidth can be extremely expensive and can easily increase operating costs and eat into a firm’s profit.

He said: “Now there is an alternative, shaped fibre from DFA. With our shaped fibre offering you can lease a dedicated, dark fibre pair between any two repeaters on our long-haul route between Durban and Pretoria.”

The new shaped fibre will cost between R200,000 (approx US$23,000) and R500,000 (approx US$67,700) per month for up to 1Gbps and 5Gbps respectively. This is a price reduction of 78 percent on the 1Gbps option. However, should customers exceed 5Gbps, the current unlimited option at R900,000 per month will apply.

It is important to note that DFA does not light fibre or sell managed services, he said, adding that customers still install their own equipment on our dark fibre, but they only pay for the speeds at which they transmit their data.

“We know that many of our clients could benefit from connections on this route, but that their bandwidth requirements don’t necessarily justify a full-capacity fibre channel,” Smit remarked.

Customers may install and use any transmission equipment on DFA’s long-haul fibre. DFA’s technical experts are available to assist customers to plan their transmission networks optimally.

In addition, as a standard service, DFA monitors its fibre network for faults around the clock from its dedicated Network Operations Centre in Rivonia, Johannesburg. Its uptime is far above the industry standard, but in the unlikely event that fibre faults do occur, DFA will repair it well within the standard agreement of four hours.

“Our long-haul optical fibre route has repeater sites in several cities and towns starting in Persequor Park in Pretoria. It runs through Bronkhorstspruit, Middelburg, Hendrina, Busby Mills, Piet Retief, Paulpietersburg, Vryheid, Witrand, Melmoth, Empangeni, via the SEACOM Landing Station in Mtunzini, and terminates at Teraco in Riverhorse Valley Durban”, Smit concluded.

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