Fibre to the Home Council Africa – FTTH8th Feb 2019
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FTTH Council Africa is an independent, not-for-profit organisation and an active member of the FTTH Council Global Alliance alongside the FTTH councils of Europe, Asia Pacific, North America, the Middle East and North Africa. Its activities are funded through member contributions. The council’s charter commits it to educating African governments, policymakers and political leaders on why and how high-speed fibre connectivity can be delivered to citizens in the coming years. Through consultation with all major stakeholders and understanding their strategies and concerns, the council endeavours to be the voice of the industry and to help create a better future for all involved. In turn the council supports governments with issues such as policy and regulation, best practice and minimum standards through an independent voice. Member engagement is encouraged at all levels and participants are kept informed of industry trends and success stories. FTTH Council Africa offers members an opportunity to network and collaborate and discuss best-practice frameworks that are in the best interests of all. In addition, FTTH Council Africa members have signed a code of conduct and pledged that they will uphold the quality of their services, products and operations and pursue a reputation for honesty, fairness, respect, responsibility, integrity, trust and sound business judgement. Members agree, specifically, to co-operate for the benefit of all, particularly when engaging with other electronic communications network service licence holders (the telecommunications providers) and with the local, provincial and national authorities. Technical excellence and quality assurance are particularly emphasised by the code, which holds that members should foster both, and ensure that work is carried out professionally and competently. The code of conduct further requires members to respect others’ property and assets when carrying out roadworks and to abide by best-practice safety standards and health and safety practices. The FTTH Council may discipline members who are in violation of its code, or terminate their membership. It investigates complaints against its members and acts appropriately at the end of the investigative process. For developers and consumers, this means that companies that are members of the council have committed themselves to delivering work of a high standard.
Fibre is big, and getting bigger. Fibre offers a faster, richer broadband experience compared to other broadband technologies and provides rapid, reliable access for people who need to stay connected – be it for work, play or study. High-speed data connections are very desirable, and communities with fibre installed are seeing increases in property prices and overall saleability as a result.
As operators roll out fibre optic cables across the country, many developers are getting into the game early and incorporating fibre into the construction phase in order to increase the saleability of their properties. Likewise, many existing developments are taking on fibre to improve their overall attractiveness.
Like any burgeoning market, the fibre boom comes with certain challenges. The Fibre to the Home (FTTH) Council Africa was formed in 2010 in recognition of the fact that, given the rapid growth expected in the industry, some sort of co-ordination was required to ensure that the industry could thrive and deliver the best possible quality of service to South African consumers.
The deployment of fibre optic cable is not a trivial task, and the provision of services over a fibre network likewise requires technical skill and expertise. Fibre is an asset to a development that will deliver returns and improve the quality of life of all who live there. A poorly deployed or badly provided service, on the other hand, can rapidly turn into a white elephant.
CHECK FIBRE PROVIDER CREDENTIALS
A poorly deployed or badly provided service, on the other hand, can rapidly turn into a white elephant. For these reasons, developers and estates should ask two things when choosing a fibre service provider, in addition to reviewing costs and service requirements:
Membership – is your provider a member of FTTH Council Africa? Members are issued with a membership certificate which they should be able to produce on request.
References – a reputable provider will have no objection to providing contactable references for previous work done.
FTTH Council Africa maintains a list of current members on its website – www.ftthcouncilafrica.com – as an easy reference tool for anyone looking for a provider of the various services involved in FTTH deployment and operation.
It also supports communities looking to invest in fibre in a number of ways. Communities can register on the site, thus enabling providers to see where there is high demand and plan their activities accordingly. Registration also gives communities access to free workshops organised and conducted by FTTH Council Africa where they can engage with other communities considering fibre.
FTTH Council Africa has also developed written materials that explain FTTH in simple terms. These can be obtained from FTTH or downloaded and emailed to community members.
The site also features a community toolkit that guides communities considering fibre and includes information on the value fibre brings, how to organise within your community to drive the project, how to create a business case and how to go about finding a provider to deploy in your neighbourhood.
FTTH Council Africa believes that the development and deployment of fibre-based broadband access networks will enhance the quality of life of South African citizens and the people of Africa as a whole, and provide African countries with an infrastructure for the future. The council’s mission is to see the adoption of fibre deployments by all broadband stakeholders, thereby enhancing the lives of all people living on the African continent.