Telkom targets million homes for FTTH, cheaper devices

Having a decent internet connection at home is no longer as satisfactory as it was a couple of year ago.

With the rise of fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) connections, it is rolling out to more suburbs every week, and it pales in comparison to traditional ADSL.

A number of companies have made huge advances in pushing it out quickly, but Telkom Group Chief Executive Office Sipho Maseko said that the company is aiming to connect a million homes across South Africa to FTTH.

During the annual Southern Africa Telecommunication Networks and Applications Conference (SATNAC), Maseko detailed that Telkom has already connected 38 000 homes to its own FTTH connections, and will have connected 400 000 by the end of next year.

“We will be connecting a million homes to FTTH connections by the end of 2018,” he said.

Having a super-fast internet connection at home is great, but Maseko said that many South Africans don’t have access to cheap mobile phones – which is a huge problem.

“South African citizens need entry-level devices that cost less than R1 000. We are calling on the government to remove the barriers that hamper the import of these devices. We must find a way to reduce the import duties so that we can accelerate access. We have to put meaningful devices in the hands of South Africans.”

Maseko said that it would be terrible if we attend a conference like SATNAC today, in the future don’t deliver on what was talked about today.

“We are at an inflection point – in 2025 it would be abominable if we have left some people behind. We need to bring our collective resources together and bring broadband to everyone.”

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