Connect with us

Featured

Telkom brings ultra-fast speed to copper

Published

on

Telkom’s whoelsale division Openserve, is about to introduce G.fast broadband technology in its network, allowing DSL lines to deliver speeds of up to 100Mbps on copper lines.

This innovative technology utilises the copper tail or drop wire within the customer premises, as an alternative access technology, to deliver high speed broadband where viable.

The announcement was made by Telkom Group Chief Executive Officer, Sipho Maseko,  at the company’s Annual Results presentation this week.

“Openserve, is amongst the first few companies to utilise this technology globally and is geared to rapidly expand its high speed broadband footprint across the country,” says Alphonzo Samuels, Openserve Chief Executive Officer. “This is a testament to Openserve’s commitment to innovate and enable high speed broadband access to as many homes as possible. In our endeavour to utilise multiple technologies, G.fast enables us to further extend the use and lifespan of our existing copper infrastructure.”

In areas where Openserve has an access fibre footprint, it is now possible for residents in townhouse complexes, smaller gated communities, multi-dwelling units and office parks, who already have existing copper access lines to experience high speed broadband speeds of up to 100 mbps.

“As the most experienced broadband infrastructure player in the South African market, we are aware of some of the needs as well as the challenges faced by residences to get access to high speed broadband technology,” says Samuels. “We continuously look to innovate and bring in new technologies which will enable greater access to more residences.

“G.fast helps us overcome the hesitation that many Home Owners Associations and Body Corporates of multiple-dwelling complexes have with granting permissions to upgrade infrastructure on their properties. We’ve now have found a way to better make use of infrastructure that is already in place thus reducing any disruption or possible harm to the aesthetics of the estate or the associated expense.”

Openserve will extend the access fibre in the suburb to an equipment room typically in the basement or gatehouse where the copper access distribution point (DP) is situated at the complex. A G.fast node will be installed where the fibre extension is terminated and complex residents will now have access to the higher broadband speeds available utilising the existing copper tail/drop wire. These residents will then have access to a wider range of high speed offerings from the Internet Service Provider (ISP) of their choice.

“We’ve completed testing G.fast technology in our labs with results indicating amazing suitability to our broadband network especially in scenarios where the length of the copper tail/drop wire is 150m or less. Our proof of concept is currently well underway in-field.

“We are excited to share this with our ISP and broadband resell partners who will now be able to reach an even broader customer base to grow their businesses and get these higher speed broadband services to even more of their customers.”

Featured

Meet the ambassador to the future

Tilly Lockey, 14, lost her hands as a toddler, but sees it as a massive opportunity to embrace technology. She chatted with ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK about the human of tomorrow.

Published

on

Picture by Arthur Goldstuck

It is a description that defines 14-year-old Tilly Lockey: She lost her hands at the age of 15 months, and now uses bionic hands to show the world how to overcome disability.

That could easily read as an advertisement for a prosthetics company, but Tilly refuses to be defined by marketing messages. She has not only embraced what is supposed to be a disability, but wants to become nothing less than an ambassador to the future.

Picture by Arthur Goldstuck

That is in effect what she is achieving by pushing the boundaries of what is possible with artificial hands. It means that, eventually, she will have more capabilities built into her body than most able-bodied humans can imagine. She collaborates closely with Open Bionics, a start-up that is using 3D printing to create low-cost prosthetics with high-tech capabilities.

“I have very high hopes for the future,” she said during a chat on the sidelines of the SingularityU Summit at Kyalami north of Johannesburg. From Newcastle-on-Tyne in the United Kingdom, she was at the Summit as a guest speaker, chaperoned by her father Adam and sister Tia. 

“When I started working with Open Bionics, I wanted it to include lighting, music, Bluetooth, a projector in my palm, all over-optimistic things. But then I feel that is not too far away, and then a disability would turn into and enhancement of normal human hands. I’m really excited about it.

“I know there’s a couple of things they are working on right now, like trying to get the built-in battery thinner, because it’s hard to get overcoats and jackets over it, so they are trying to get the hands slimmer. They’re working on haptic feedback, to give a sense of touch of vibration, which tells me of I have a good grip on something. It could be coming soon. These hands I’m using now were made in the past five years. In another five years, I think we’ll have all of it.”

The hands in question are called Hero Arms, which its creators, Open Bionics, say is “the world’s first clinically approved 3D-printed bionic arm, with multi-grip functionality and empowering aesthetics”.

Click here to read more about the development of Open Bionics’s Hero Arms.

Previous Page1 of 3

Continue Reading

Featured

How Tilly Lockey became a Hero

Part 2 of ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK’s interview with Tilly Lockey explores her amazing career.

Published

on

Picture courtesy SingularityU South Africa 2019 Summit

This is the second part of this series of articles. To start from the beginning, click here.

Tilly Lockey was diagnosed with Meningococcal Septicaemia Strain B when she was 15 months old.

Her mother spotted the tell-tale signs one day in 2007: a fast-spreading skin rash that looks like pinpricks, along with symptoms like lethargy and bruising. She was rushed to hospital, but the bacterial poisoning spread so aggressively, doctors gave Tilley no chance of survival. They had to make a quick decision to amputate her hands to save her life.

Twelve years later, her future truly came into focus: “I was surprised with really cool Alita: Battle Angel bionic Hero Arms and went on the blue carpet at the world premiere of the movie with Rosa Salazar and director James Cameron.”

That pivotal moment in her life would not have been possible without the intensive efforts of her mother, Sara, to raise funds to buy something better than the metal prosthetics issued by the National Health Service in the UK. She increased Tilley’s profile with a campaign to “Give Tilley a Hand”, and today works as a fundraiser and events organiser for the Meningitis Now support group. Her involvement in an event meant she was unable to join Tilley on her trip to South Africa last week, when she spoke at the SingularityU Summit. After coming off stage, Tilley told us that Sara was her biggest inspiration in her life, and the closest to a role model.

“I’m usually a speaker at her events. I tell everyone my story and what I’m doing now and give these kids inspiration, because they often feel they can’t do anything because of what Meningitis did to them.

“I am home schooled now, which is pretty cool, because I’m able to have a career and get educated at the same time. I feel I can do a lot of things that friends can’t do. I can take a whole class on an aeroplane. I have a great time traveling and meeting so many inspiring people who are making a difference in the world.”

The form of Mengingitis that attacked her leaves hidden scars and issues that only become apparent years later. She is almost absurdly cheerful about the challenges that have faced her.

“I personally figured out that my left leg had stopped growing. I’m still finding out things it has caused, but you survive. At least I’m here and I’m alive.”

It does help that she’s comfortable in the spotlight, happy to give interviews, and eager to show what she can do with her bionic hands.

“I want to go into public speaking a lot more, and it could be an option as career. I want it to continue because it’s a lot of fun, and I feel I’ve got a story to share. If I can inspire people to change the world, I will. “

Her travels this year will still take her to Barcelona, Jakarta and New York. In the Big Apple, she will accept a humanitarian award, and intends “to give a funky speech”.

In Jakarta, Indonesia, she will take part in a fashion catwalk and do a makeup tutorial live. She learned to do makeup with one of her bionic hands when she fractured her right elbow in a fall at school

“I got makeup for Christmas and wanted to play with it, and got the idea of doing it with an open hand. It took a lot of perseverance and patience, but after studying how to do it, I was able to recreate a full makeup routine using one hand. It wasn’t a great situation at the time, but now I’m happy it happened because it got me into doing what I do now.”

What she is doing with makeup is remarkable in its own right. She gives tutorials on YouTube, where she says she is “kinda new”, as she has “only around 16,000 followers”. That may well soon expand into cooking videos.

In other words, everything is an opportunity: “I could be sad, just sit on my bed and cry, or I can live my life and realise what I’ve got: these amazing bionic Hero Arms.

“All I want to do is help give people confidence in themselves, accept who they are, accept their scars and everything about them. That they don’t have to impress everybody and just be themselves.”

Read more in the third article of the series about how family remains at the centre of Tilly’s life.

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2019 World Wide Worx