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Fibre Fiasco: 1.2 Million Homes Left in the Dark


Fibre Frenzy: Telkom’s Openserve Fibre Reach Hits 1.2 Million Homes, But at What Cost?

Telkom’s Openserve, the telecommunications giant’s wholesale network business unit, has quietly been rolling out fibre connections across South Africa, reaching a staggering 1.2 million homes. But behind this seemingly impressive statistic lies a complex web of costs, controversy, and potential environmental concerns.

CEO Althon Beukes, at the helm of Openserve, has prioritized fibre connectivity, with the company’s fibre-to-the-home connections growing by 16.1%. This aggressive push into fibre deployment has led to significant revenue growth, with next-generation fibre revenue increasing by 7.4%.

But as Openserve continues to scale its fibre network, critics are raising concerns about the environmental impact of the company’s operations. The use of lithium-ion batteries and solar power to support the network is a welcome step, but some argue that the benefits are being overshadowed by the massive energy consumption required to power the network.

Furthermore, the cost of Openserve’s fibre expansion is being passed on to consumers, with prices rising as a result. This has sparked outrage among residents who feel that they are being forced to bear the burden of Openserve’s aggressive expansion plans.

Meanwhile, Telkom’s focus on fibre connectivity has led to concerns about the neglect of other network infrastructure, such as 4G and 5G. As Openserve prioritizes fibre, critics argue that this is diverting resources away from more pressing connectivity needs.

In the midst of this controversy, Openserve is pushing ahead with its ambitious plans to connect eight million homes within a 5km radius of its last-mile infrastructure. While this may seem like a noble goal, it raises questions about the sustainability of Openserve’s business model and the potential environmental consequences of its actions.

As Telkom’s Openserve continues to dominate the fibre market, it’s clear that the company is not without its critics. As the debate surrounding fibre expansion rages on, one thing is certain: the future of connectivity in South Africa is complex, contentious, and far from resolved.



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