Rural fibre connectivity in South Africa has received another boost with news that Frogfoot Networks has commenced with the rollout of its infrastructure in the Limpopo capital Polokwane. So far, Bendor Park and Welgelegen have gone live with high-speed broadband internet, with over 600 homes passed. This makes up around 10% of the company’s planned fibre network rollout in the city.
Frogfoot head of sales Shane Chorley says the expansion forms part of the infrastructure company’s strategy of rolling out fibre to secondary towns across South Africa, including the likes of Bloemfontein, East London, Ermelo, Middelburg, Pietermaritzburg, Richards Bay, Witbank, and others.
“Frogfoot is expanding in these towns as they meet our criteria in terms of the number of houses that can be connected, as well as the average household income in these areas,” he says. “While we are looking primarily at the consumer market, there are opportunities to target certain types of smaller businesses that are based in and around the residential areas.”
An open-access provider, Frogfoot provides options from more than 80 internet service providers (ISPs), which offer varying line speeds, data package sizes, and capped or uncapped accounts.
“Previous experience of expanding our network around South Africa has shown that these smaller towns are data starved, and that the introduction of affordable broadband connectivity leads to noticeable changes in user behaviour. It might take a while, but as people become exposed to the possibilities of quality high-speed internet, they consume far more data than before.”
Users are increasingly watching or streaming videos online, and in higher quality, as well as using the internet for more of their communication, education and skills development needs.
Chorley says the company is looking to foster partnerships with local businesses and communities, to improve safety and security through the rollout of fibre-connected CCTV cameras, and assist educational institutions with access.
“Schools within the coverage area can apply for a fibre link as part of the company’s schools promotion campaign, which gives these institutions access to a free FTTH connection of up to 1Gpbs, with their preferred internet service provider.”
Representatives from Frogfoot and leading ISPs will be at local shopping centres and along roads in Bendor Park and Welgelegen from 20 to 26 January to engage with residents on the different fibre packages on offer and to answer any fibre related questions.
* To see what areas are part of the Frogfoot FTTH network, go to the Coverage tab on the Frogfoot website.