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DFA targets 20 000 business connections via fibre

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By March 2016, Dark Fibre Africa hopes to give 20 000 businesses access to its high-speed fibre optic network using a service provider of their choice.

Fibre backbone provider Dark Fibre Africa (DFA) aims to establish 20 000 business connections in its fibre to the business network by March 2016. These connections will provide businesses across South Africa with access to a high-speed fiber optic network via an internet service provider (ISP) of their choice.

There is an increase in demand for fibre optic network connectivity across South Africa, which is partly due to the country playing catch up to other more developed markets around the world. According to Reshaad Sha, Chief Strategy Officer at DFA, “Although there are several drivers leading to increased demand for connectivity, we have identified that globally cloud computing is a critical driver for the adoption of fibre based connectivity. In order for cloud computing to deliver the benefits of cost saving, business continuity and business agility, it requires a secure and super-fast connection that only a fibre network can provide.”

Although cloud adoption in Africa is still in its infancy, demand for cloud services are growing in the private sector across South Africa. Almost half of 100 JSE-listed corporations are using a form of cloud computing as they are looking to use innovative solutions to develop a competitive edge and drive efficiencies across the business. “The challenge that many of these businesses face is that the demand for bandwidth is dependent on availability and ease of access, but the demand is needed to motivate for the investment in this infrastructure,” says Sha.

To address this challenge, DFA will expand its network and simplify the ease of access to this high-speed fibre network for businesses across all major and secondary cities across South Africa. This will complement the work that is being done by various ISPs that have, over the past 18 months, accelerated their enterprise sales activity to increase market penetration and connect customers to fibre based networks.

According to Sha, “This is a step in the right direction to help South Africa to catch up to some of the more developed and even some of the emerging markets around the world that have already invested significantly in fibre connectivity.” The Network Readiness Index 2014 which ranks countries in terms of ICT readiness, digital infrastructures and robust innovation systems, ranks South Africa at number 70 while countries such as Brazil (69), Mauritius (48), Turkey (51) and Saudi Arabia (32) rank higher. In terms of the readiness subindex which looks at infrastructure, affordability and skills, South Africa ranks even lower at 98 out of 144 countries across the globe.

“By investing in our fibre networks, we aim to help address two of the drivers mentioned in the readiness subindex, namely infrastructure availability and affordability. In doing this, we will provide the infrastructure needed for companies to adopt cloud based services, use collaboration tools and leverage technologies that will support their own innovations and business growth,” concludes Sha.

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Welcome to world of 2099

The world of 2099 will be unrecognisable from the world of today, but it can be predicted, says one visionary. ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK met him in Singapore.

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Futuristic structures tower over the landscape. Giant, alien-looking trees light up with dazzling colours amid the hundreds of plant species that grow up their trunks. Cosmetic stores sell their wares via public touch-screens, with products delivered instantly in drawers below the screens.

This is not a vision of the future. It is a sample of Singapore today. But it is also an inkling of the world we may all experience in the future.

Singapore was the venue, last week, of the World Cities Summit, where engineers, politicians, investors and visionaries rubbed shoulders as they talked about the strategies and policies that would enhance urban living in the future.

As part of the Summit, global payment technologies leader Mastercard hosted a small media briefing by one of Singapore’s leading thinkers about the future, Dr Damian Tan, managing director of Vickers Venture Partners. The company’s slogan “We invest in the extraordinary,” offers a small clue to Tan’s perspective.

“We look as far forward as 2099 because, as a venture capital firm, we invest in the long term,” he tells a group of journalists from Africa and the Middle East. “Companies explode in growth because there is value in the future. If there is no growth, they won’t explode.”

The big question that the Smart Cities Summit and Mastercard are trying to help answer is, what will cities look like in the year 2099? Tan can’t give an exact answer, but he offers a framework that helps one approach the question.

“If you want to look at 81 years into the future, and understand the change that will come, you need to double that amount and look into the past. That takes us to 1856. The difference between then and now is the difference you can expect between now and 2099.”

Click here or on the page link below to read on: Page 2: Soldiers and Health in 2099.

  •    Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter on @art2gee and on YouTube

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Street art goes electric

Kaspersky Lab and British street artist D*Face have unveiled the first-ever “art helmet” design at the Formula E finale for electric cars in New York.

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The ‘Save The World’ helmets will be raced by DS Virgin Racing’s drivers, Sam Bird and Alex Lynn, as they traverse the New York street circuit during the final races of the Formula E season.

The announcement signals the first art helmet by a Formula E team, continuing the heritage of art in motorsport and the cybersecurity brand’s commitment to contemporary art, creativity and innovation. D*Face took inspiration from Kaspersky Lab’s tagline, “A Company To Save The World”, and hopes that his colourful work will inspire people to take positive action.

D*Face will announce his first-ever art car design with a custom-made livery for the DS Virgin Racing Team. Its design will be released at the “Art Goes Green” event after Saturday’s race. The helmets and art car are the latest installations in the “Save the World” collection, following a major permanent public mural that was installed in Brooklyn, New York, in May.

D*Face, whose real name is Dean Stockton, said: “It is exciting to work with Kaspersky Lab on this project and create art with a real message of hope for a better future. After all, this is our world and we need to look after it. It will take every one of us to make a real lasting, impactful change. I love the mentality of the DS Virgin Racing Team and that of Formula E by showcasing sport in a way that doesn’t harm the environment, but is still just as exhilarating and fun.

“It is time for us all to stand together and make a change… be that stopping data steals, climate change, plastic waste or using damaging fuels. I want everyone to make a pledge to do one thing that will help make a change.”

As a sponsor of DS Virgin Racing Team, Kaspersky Lab is responsible for protecting the team’s devices against cyber threats. The company sees the technical environment in the global sport of Formula E as the next frontier in furthering its research and development of new technologies to keep vehicles secure in the digital world.

Sylvain Filippi, Managing Director at DS Virgin Racing, said: “The whole team fully supports this great initiative and our thanks got to Kaspersky and D*Face for their collaboration. It’s an honour to have such an innovative artist bring his talents to bear in our team ahead of the season-finale; the car, drivers’ crash helmets and mural all look amazing.”

Aldo Fucelli Pessot del Bo, Head of Global Partnerships and Sponsorships at Kaspersky Lab added: “There is a need for innovation on a global scale, both in contemporary art and in the fast-growing sport of Formula E. Now, for the first time ever, Kaspersky Lab is proudly bringing together the two sectors in an effort to Save the World and unleash creativity, encourage freedom of expression and further innovation.”

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