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Tech needs of new homes

These cables are our ties to the future

By Esther de Villiers

, |

Tech needs of new homes

These cables are our ties to the future

By Esther de Villiers

, |

2 min read

When researching technologies during the pre-construction phase, developers must consider the importance of building for a tech-driven society. During such research, one concept will underly most every alternative: fibre!

Connected for all reasons

Fibre to the Home (FTTH) is the installation and use of optical fibre from a central point directly to individual buildings such as residences, apartment buildings and businesses, to provide unprecedented high-speed internet access.

High-end fibre connectivity has become a top requirement on the checklist of homeowners and businessfolk, as it provides access to a whole new world, way beyond the borders of broadband connectivity.

What’s more, South Africa’s fibre network can be used as cost-effective technology for delivering other value-added services – communication among residents, community access channels for targeted advertising, and shared content from broadcasters like DSTV.

Future vision

Months before Covid-19 caused South Africa to screech to a halt, Digital Technologies Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams said:

‘Fibre is potentially the most critical component of all telecommunications infrastructure in South Africa.’

This visionary claim was made without the luxury of knowing how the working world would depend on Fibre to the Home (FTTH) installations in the immediate future.

By end-June 2019, about 1.5 million end points had been passed, comprising over 600,000 connections (496,000+ homes connected and billed, and 114,000+ business premises).

Roll it out, sous-terrain

According to a report from the FTTH Council, the number of houses in South Africa passed by fibre grew from 439,000 in 2017 to 933,000 in the first quarter of 2018 – a year on year increase of 112%.

As the rollout rate accelerates exponentially, up-to-date stats are hard to come by. But a look of one of the nation’s biggest service providers shines a light on our current state of fibre affairs.

Openserve has an all-access network to provide licensed telecommunications services, and today delivers broadband services to over three million households, having laid 147,000+ kilometres of fibre optic cables in South Africa to date.

What developers should know

A recent Mail & Guardian report on Openserve expands on the multiple benefits of ensuring fibre accommodates our tech-hungry society.

‘For investors and home buyers, finding an ideal home is not just about safety or access to schools and amenities; it is also about access to high-speed, high-quality, reliable internet.

‘Openserve has partnered with developers and homeowners associations (HOAs) across South Africa to get more homes connected to its fibre network, as the Covid-19 pandemic has forced many residents to work and learn from their homes.’

Apart from high-speed internet access, HOAs and estate developers are urged to use fibre networks to advance the security systems of their residential estate or community, increasing safety and so luring potential homeowners and tenants.

Where the buck stops

According to the FTTH Council, installing fibre can boost your property value by R50,000. So check out before mapping your new target area for developing or home-hunting. Availability of this service seems to be the foundation on which our tech-savvy society will base most decisions for the foreseeable future.

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