FibreCo, a fibre-optic telecommunications infrastructure provider, says that, since May, it has completed in excess of 600 kilometres of trenching in a planned route between Johannesburg and East London.
“As of today, we are on track, but there is a lot of hard work still left to do,” Arif Hussain, CEO of FibreCo told BusinessTech.
The company originally planned to launch a redundant core ring between Gauteng, Cape Town, and Durban by the end of 2012, but has said that it now expects its link between Johannesburg and Cape Town to start operating in 2014.
The group has been afforded R1.2 billion in capex by its backers for the physical construction of the 1,900 km network between Johannesburg and Cape Town, through Bloemfontein, Durban and East London.
The company envisages the development of a national network stretching over 12,000 km. Phase 1 involves linking up Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban as well as the East and West coast submarine cable landing stations.
Additional phases would see FibreCo linking Gauteng with neighbouring countries including Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Botswana.
Hussain said that total investment would amount to approximately R5 billion; however, funding beyond the R1.5 billion first phase has not yet been secured.
“I am confident this business will be viable. I am confident that investors will get their money back,” Hussain said.