Collaboration not competition required for FTTH
The promise of fibre to all homes and businesses in SA will never be realised without greater collaboration between the major players, says Roman Hogh, head of Product Research and Development at MWEB Business.
The promise of fibre to all homes and businesses in South Africa - as opposed to a limited number of premises in affluent areas - will never be realised without greater collaboration between many of the major players.
That's the view of Roman Hogh, Head of Product Research and Development at MWEB Business, a division of Internet Solutions, who says competition between the large ISPs who are currently rolling out their own closed fibre networks, is hampering its widespread adoption and keeping prices high.
"There is a huge amount of unproductive, unnecessary duplication of effort among fibre network vendors. While they scramble to get their fibre in the ground in order to sign up as many affluent customers as possible, their competitors are doing pretty much the same and in the same or similar geographic areas," he adds.
Hogh believes that the various ISPs and other players should pool their efforts and lay open-architecture networks. These could then be tapped into by anyone capable of supplying the next layer of fibre-based products and services to end-users.
Not only would this approach enable a far greater reach of the fibre infrastructure and open up the benefits of fibre to a wider array of end-users, it would promote more competition with regards to services.
"This would result in a greater choice for end-users, as well as more competitive pricing," he says.
According to Hogh, there have already been calls for vendors operating in the mobile sector to share wireless spectrum with competitors. A similar approach with regards to fibre is even more beneficial.
"Without this change of culture among vendors and more cooperation, the dream of FTTH to most homes in South Africa will remain just that - a dream," Hogh concludes.