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Frogfoot extends fibre infrastructure to Polokwane

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Shane Chorley, head of sales at Frogfoot.
Shane Chorley, head of sales at Frogfoot.

Open access fibre network provider Frogfoot has extended its fibre infrastructure rollout to Polokwane.

The company says it has since gone live with high-speed broadband Internet in Bendor Park and Welgelegen, with over 600 homes passed.

Frogfoot says this makes up around 10% of its planned fibre network rollout in Polokwane.

Shane Chorley, head of sales at Frogfoot, says the expansion forms part of the infrastructure company’s strategy of rolling out fibre to secondary towns across SA, including Bloemfontein, East London, Ermelo, Middelburg, Pietermaritzburg, Richards Bay and Witbank.

“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. 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.”

The foray into Polokwane by Frogfoot comes at a time when there is fierce competition in the fibre market in that city.

Vumatel’s plans for Polokwane were temporarily halted in October by members of the ANC Youth League’s Ward 20 and 21, who claimed they had not been consulted on the project.

The race to supply customers with fibre-optic cables is becoming ever more aggressive, with most companies setting their sights on the township and smaller markets popularly referred to in the sector as the secondary markets.

In May, Telkom went live with its fibre connectivity at Orlando West High School in Soweto, giving learners high-speed Internet access.

Octotel joined in, becoming the first independent open-access fibre network operator to reach 110 000 homes in Cape Town.

In August, Vumatel announced it will rollout broadband connectivity to 900 000 households in Ekurhuleni and 450 000 in Soweto.

Chorley says: “Previous experience of expanding our network around South Africa has shown these smaller towns are data-starved, and 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.”

He notes that with Frogfoot being an open access provider, customers in Polokwane stand to benefit from more choice and better service; with over 80 Internet service providers (ISPs) operating on Frogfoot networks.

Customers have varied options when it comes to line speeds, whether they have a capped or uncapped account, and data package sizes.

Frogfoot says 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 even skills development needs.

“Turning to cloud services means they can access their productivity suites and other business tools ‒ and their data ‒ from any device or location,” it says.

Chorley adds that as with other areas covered by Frogfoot Fibre, 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.”

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