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Press Release
21 August 2023

DFA drives network enhancement with R400 million infrastructure expansion project

CENTURION, Gauteng – 21 August 2023 – In a resounding step towards revolutionising South Africa’s digital landscape, MAZIV, the parent company of leading fibre infrastructure providers Dark Fibre Africa (DFA) and Vuma, has undertaken a substantial investment in the augmentation of their network infrastructure and overall footprint.

Vuma, a prominent subsidiary of MAZIV transmitting fibre to the home, has recently achieved noteworthy milestones, marking an extraordinary stride by passing the 2 million homes threshold and stretching their network to encompass an impressive 50,000 kilometres of laid fibre. Additionally, Vuma has soared to new heights by connecting 1 million homes within underserved, lower income areas over the past three and a half years. When combined with Dark Fibre Africa’s extensive 15,000 km fibre network, MAZIV’s outreach unfurls across the expanse of South Africa ensuring many enjoy the benefits of fibre.

Dewald Booysen, the Chief Operations Officer at Vuma, resonates with the vision and values of MAZIV, affirmed that Vuma’s expedited network expansion into underserved regions reflects MAZIV’s core ethos. The company firmly believes that high-quality broadband is a pivotal catalyst that empowers every South African to seize global opportunities. Vuma’s coverage has extended to traditionally overlooked communities like Soweto, Khayelitsha, and Umlazi, where Vuma’s community-centric approach has triumphed over longstanding challenges. Their commitment is further manifested through visionary initiatives like the Vuma Fibre to Schools programme that provides a free 1GB connection to every school along their network, a commitment that has already linked more than 700 schools.

Among the noteworthy milestones is a groundbreaking partnership with Huawei that launches 50GB GPON services on the Vuma fibre network. This strategic step is aimed at future-proofing Vuma’s network, aligning the organisation with next-generation services and aligning with the evolving demands of their growing customer base.

In tandem, DFA (fibre for business) has embarked on a monumental R400 million fibre network infrastructure expansion project. This transformative endeavour aims to elevate the provisioning of connectivity hardware, enabling high-speed connectivity for an ever-expanding number of businesses. As an impactful contribution to South Africa’s digital transformation drive, this initiative is poised to enhance access to online services and catalyse economic growth. After successfully navigating the trial phase since February, the project is now being rolled out at scale.

The tri-phased infrastructure upgrade, anticipated to span approximately 18 months, is primed to usher in a new era of network service efficiency and performance. It stands as a robust response to the escalating demand for connectivity services from customers and promises to align seamlessly with the nation’s burgeoning digital landscape.

Andreas Uys, the Chief Technology Officer at DFA, underscores the evolution of their business customer base since the introduction of FTTB connectivity services in 2015. DFA’s commitment is unwavering, investing extensively to enhance and upgrade our existing infrastructure environment. This ensures DFA’s capacity to deliver substantial volumes of FTTB connectivity while maintaining an unwaveringly high standard of service delivery for its business clientele.

DFA’s distinctive managed connectivity services, operating at the ‘data link layer’, rest on dedicated connections that offer a direct and secure network link. As an integral facet of the upgrade, DFA will deploy an impressive 800 additional Dry Underground Distribution Cabinets (DUDC) units, meticulously developed and crafted in South Africa to DFA’s precise specifications.

This strategic expansion is set to significantly curtail data travel distances and reduce installation times via dedicated cables, thus heralding reduced downtimes during maintenance and repairs. Designed to accommodate future growth and network demand, the deployment of these new DUDC units is poised to usher in a new era of connectivity excellence.

The introduction of supplementary DUDC units and dedicated cables brings data traffic closer to the end user, translating into swifter deployment, installation, and ultimately, an enhanced connectivity experience. DFA’s commitment to maintaining industry-leading quality remains steadfast, with these latest upgrades reinforcing our reputation well into the future.

Both Dewald Booysen and Andreas Uys concur that the acceleration of network coverage, driven by digital transformation, remains paramount in meeting the burgeoning needs of consumers and businesses across South Africa.

DFA is the premier wholesale, open-access fibre-infrastructure and -connectivity provider in South Africa. We finance, build, install, manage, and maintain a world-class fibre network to transmit metro and long-haul telecommunications traffic. We started rolling out our fibre network in 2007, and to date, we have deployed over 13,000 km of ducting infrastructure in major metros, secondary cities, and smaller towns. Our network runs with an industry-leading uptime of 99.98%. We lease our secure transmission and backbone fibre infrastructure and provide associated connectivity services to telecommunications operators, Internet service providers, media conglomerates, tertiary education institutions, municipalities, government organizations, and other businesses, large and small, on equal terms. DFA is a Level 3 B-BBEE Contributor on the ICT Sector Codes.

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