The Current situation is such that in South Africa the lack of ubiquitous broadband is the result of the legacy of a single operator monopoly, low GDP, geography and population distribution.

The problem is further exacerbated by the average bandwidth speeds delivered in South Africa, once again way below the norm. Way below the speeds required to deliver the latest drives for bandwidth, Pictures, Video and New business services.

When considering the amount of international bandwidth about to be presented to South Africa, the current infrastructure is not even remotely capable of adequately delivering international bandwidth to the current broadband population.

This incoming capacity reaches the Service Provider who has no access to a network infrastructure to adequately deliver this bandwidth. The networks in South Africa, and the Service Provider data centres have not been designed to facilitate this delivery of massive chunks of bandwidth.

In line with the growth of broadband has been the growth of social internet services, which in many ways, have become a necessary part of our daily lives and the way we do business.

In addition to the growth in social networks, the plethora of bandwidth hungry, business services also drive this need. For, without decent hi speed connectivity service providers cannot effectively deliver these services to the business masses.

The table below is an indication of the broadband penetration in South Africa at the end of 2008. These figures include DSL to the home. Penetration is way below the rest of the world and as a result local business is lagging with inefficiencies and poor productivity.

Commerce and industry is the main driver for telecommunications, as is evident if one considers the options in the main centres such as Gauteng, Durban and Cape Town in relation to smaller towns and cities. Furthermore, in these major centres, service and application providers are finding it more and more difficult to focus on their core business, services, and then on a network infrastructure to deliver these services.

Social Networks

Technology that allows users to leverage personal connections.


An XML standard that lets users collect and read content feeds.

Open Source Software

Publicly available software that can be copied or modified without payment.


Online diaries of text, photos, or other media.

Search Engines

Services that find web content based on user-specified criteria.

User Review Portals

Web portals that allow users to search for peer reviews on a product or service.

P2P File Sharing

Sharing media files over a network powered by users who act as both client and server.

C2C eCommerce

Buying and selling among consumers via the net.

Comparison Shopping Sites

Sites that allow consumers to compare products or services.


Online audio or video that users can download to a device.

Wikis/Collaboration Software

Shared publishing software or site that allows users to edit content.


Metadata assigned to items like photos or web pages to facilitate searching and sharing.

Current Local Broadband Telecoms Status

  • Little or no access to the proliferation of undersea cable international bandwidth landing in South Africa
  • Industry is still reliant on legacy copper based infrastructure
  • Generally there is very little, and in most instances zero access to fibre
  • Metro Ethernet Connectivity is a Luxury in SA
  • Fibre Infrastructure is expensive, few, if any, can afford to build

Metrofibre networx will provide the critical fibre “Last Mile” MetroAccess and connect this back into the Metrofibre MetroCore providing, on an “Open Access” basis, any to any Metro Ethernet connectivity.

This will give industry access to the proliferation of the bandwidth landed by the undersea cables.

Also, by interconnecting the MetroCore with Dark Fibre Africa, and other third party operators MFN can now deliver a highly managed bandwidth solution across multiple service infrastructures, providing the vital “Access Layer” interconnecting all services and layers.

ON-Net Solutions

ON-Net implies that the building, or buildings, to be connected is directly connected to the MFN fibre infrastructure. (Maps can be provided which will indicate the areas applicable.) There are approximately 100 commercial areas designated to be saturated with MFN fibre over the next 24 month period. This saturation will continuously expand over time. For ON-Net solutions pricing is calculated based on the following criteria:

  • A once off connection and activation fee
  • SLA, which affects the network availability and repair time, per end point
  • QOS, which is related to how MFN handle the data across the network, either Best Effort Data, Priority Data or Real Time Data
  • Bandwidth, which can be anything from 2Mbps to 100Gbps.

OFF-Net Solutions

OFF-Net solutions makes use of third party infrastructure, typically DFA, to connect the remote premises back into the MFN fibre infrastructure. In these instances, the standard MFN pricing will apply as well as an additional cost based on distance from the MFN infrastructure. Additional impact on pricing will be as follows:

  • A once off charge based on the distance to be trenched to connect the premises to a third party fibre
  • A monthly charge, distance based, to connect to the nearest MFN aggregation point

The additional charges include all management and maintenance costs that may be required to ensure end to end network availability, even though, it includes a third party’s infrastructure to provide the total solution.

Within Gauteng, Metrofibre networx has an existing ring passing through all major commercial areas. Access to this ring is provided by Metrofibre networx last mile fibre.