BoFiNet takes Fibre To The Home (FTTH)
Botswana Fibre Networks, (BoFiNet) surprised an invited crowd with yet another milestone: The Fibre To The Home or FTTH technology. Fibre To The home (FTTH) is the installation and use of optical Fibre from a central point directly to individual buildings such as residences and apartment buildings to provide unprecedented high-speed Internet access.
The launch brought together stakeholders to share information on the availability of the infrastructure within their homes, the deployment localities, benefits associated with the fibre technology, access to high speed connectivity, and other opportunities that will be brought in by the technology.
Speaking during the launch, Minister of Transport and Communication, Dorcas Kobela Makgato said her ministry, which is the parent ministry under which BoFiNet falls had availing broadband to businesses to both urban and remote places in Botswana.
“We have to date connected 4,410 businesses and Government offices across the country with broadband fibre. In Gaborone there are already two thousand seven hundred and forty one (2741) business connected through the FTTx technology. This number will double in Gaborone before the end October 2019 with an additional 2,317, connections to make a total of 5,058 Government and business premises in Gaborone fully connecting all commercial premises. We should then celebrate a fully connected Gaborone business community.
She said they were cognizant (as a Ministry) of the fact that technology needs to evolve and grow, which is why they were launching the Fibre to the home.
“The project starts with rolling out fibre to residential premises in Gaborone Extensions 11, 9, 5, 39 and 3 as Phase I. This first phase is expected to be completed in November 2019. It will be followed by Gaborone Phase II which will rollout FTTH to all about 16,000 un-serviced medium and high-cost residential plots that should be concluded by December 2020.
Once completed this project will avail broadband fibre infrastructure at the doorstep of your premises, and once connected through an ISP or service provider of choice, will usher in a total new internet experience at home for our customers. The intention is also to issue tenders for FTTB and FTTH for Jwaneng and Orapa in this current financial year and deliver the connections well during the 2020/2021 financial year. The project will bring in transformation in the way we communicate and the internet speed at home will be greatly enhanced and improved.”
Makgato explained that these new developments will not only bring in new opportunities such as employment creation during the implementation phase but will also bring opportunities that are here to stay once the project is complete. “Eleven citizen owned companies will benefit from this engagement by carrying out all the civil and cable works as well as customer installations and maintenance. The project offers the likes of BTCL, Mascom, Orange and other established ISPs an opportunity to migrate their customers from the weather-prone wireless solutions to the more scalable, stable and fast fibre technology.”
Makgato said the development will usher in a new era where “we, as a nation are able to complete educational degrees and diplomas or even doctorates online from the comfort of our homes. This new era also offers the opportunity to us as a nation to start looking at creating 6 businesses with global reach for us to be globally competitive. My hope and wish is that online transactions will become the order of the day. It will enable our customers to enjoy products such as video on demand and IP TV services, some delivered through the complementary 3G/4G and LTE solutions currently rolled-out by other service providers.
Even at my own home, this project will have a great impact. I have 3 sons who are very heavy users of the internet, with their video gaming and online streaming. When they all use the internet at the same time, their complain that each other’s devices are slowing the whole net down. With Fibre now coming to our houses I can confidently say those days of waiting for everyone to be asleep at midnight to experience fast internet are over. FTTH is a technology for the whole family, big or small, everyone in a household will be guaranteed great internet speeds without compromised quality.”