The state-owned telecommunications backhaul network provider gives details about its road to launch as well as its launch date

Broadband Infraco was established in 2006 by the Department of Public
Enterprises as an intervention to “rapidly normalise telecommunications
market efficiency and address the cost of broadband to other industry
players and end users, by having infrastructure in the national backbone
and international connectivity at reduced prices.”

Late last year the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa
(ICASA) awarded Broadband Infraco an Individual Electronic
Communications Network Services (I-ECNS) licence, allowing it to provide
electronic communications network services to other licenced operators
using its own fibre optic network infrastructure.

Paul King, key accounts manager at Broadband Infraco detailed the road
leading up to the operator's launch, the services they plan and his
vision of the future of the Internet in South Africa.

Broadband Infraco acquired the fibre assets of Eskom and Transnet and
outsourced the maintenance and operation thereof to Neotel.

Neotel had sole use of the network for four years until an Electronic
Communications Network Services (ECNS) license was awarded to Infraco,
King explained. This agreement hence fell away on 19 October last year
when Infraco was licensed.

After receiving their license Infraco has been hard at work to bring
services to the market, and King explained that part of the reason
Infraco hasn't launched yet is because they wanted to ensure service
levels on the network.

King said that very high service levels will be one of the main value
propositions in the market, along with aggressive pricing which is one
of the company’s core mandates.

Broadband Infraco will provide services based on the provisioning of
high capacity managed bandwidth from Point of Presence (POP) to POP
within their network.

These services are Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH) based and
available as STM-1 (155 Mbps), STM-4 (600 Mbps), STM-16 (2.5 Gbps),
STM-64 (10 Gbps).

Infraco will have service level agreements (SLAs) of 99.5% for their
standard offering and 99.95% for their high end offering. King however
points out that they would like to increase these service levels to
99.9% and 99.99% respectively in future.

Contract options include 10 year IRUs and 1, 3, 5 and 10 year leases.

At launch the network will have open access connectivity points in Gauteng, Cape Town and Durban.

In Gauteng those points are at Teraco Isando, Neotel Midrand and BCX
Midrand. Cape Town's point is at Teraco Rondebosch and Durban's is at
Internet Solutions (IS) Umhlanga Rocks.

King said that Broadband Infraco will launch in the fourth quarter of this year (Q4 2010).

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