Fibre council wants end to new copper

Juanita Clark

Government should place a “moratorium” on the construction of new copper-cable infrastructure for telecommunications by no later than the end of 2015, says fibre lobby group FTTH Council Africa.

“We believe the department of communications needs to consider the future of broadband penetration and to place a deadline on the deployment of copper,” says council CEO Juanita Clark.

“When we consider the fact that fibre has no street value, it allows more throughput, maintenance is easier, it is greener as it consumes less energy, has a longer lifespan and provides improved network reliability, it is not a debate we should still be having,” she says.

African countries can make a “substantial leap forward” if their governments placed a deadline on the deployment of new copper, including into homes, she adds.

FTTH Council Africa says copper that is stolen should not be replaced with copper but fibre. “It does not make sense that companies still insist on deploying copper at its current street values.”

Fibre-to-the-premises has obvious advantages for consumers as it offers much higher speeds than copper.

“A number of studies have noted a statistical connection between higher broadband adoption and economic prosperity on both local as well as national levels,” Clark says.

“Considering the clear advantages, FTTH Council Africa believes SA should be the first country on the continent to place a moratorium on the deployment of copper.”

Most fixed-line broadband users in SA make use of Telkom’s extensive network of “last-mile” copper-cable infrastructure into homes and businesses.  — Staff reporter, TechCentral

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