100km business fibre network ring rolling out in Cape Town’s business hubs

by ashley

Fibre infrastructure is being rolled out at pace in Cape Town’s burgeoning business hubs by MetroFibre Networx, with the fibre network operator (FNO) aiming to complete a 100km network ring and route by the end of November 2023. In this first phase, around 4 000 businesses will have access to the MetroFibre network in the main business hubs of Montagu Gardens, Brackenfell, Rondebosch, Paarden Island, Stikland, Epping, Belville, Tyger Valley and the City Bowl.

“The rollout comes on the back of massive connectivity demand by businesses that are locating their operations in the City of Cape Town: the likes of multinationals, financial services providers, insurers, contact centres, cloud and technology providers, manufacturers and the like. Cape Town is also increasingly the homebase of choice of the global hyper-scaler cloud providers that are expanding their presence in the region,” explains Gary Webster, head of Wholesale at MetroFibre.

“On the back of our globally compliant carrier Ethernet 3.0 network, MetroFibre delivers on the most stringent of service level agreements (SLAs) with high resiliency, ultra-low latency and carrier grade connectivity for businesses with high-calibre connectivity and service needs.

“A big differentiator is that MetroFibre’s network in Cape Town is totally diverse, which means we do not share our routes with any other FNOs, giving our customers true route and carrier diversity. This provides much greater reliability and resiliency, as it means our network is not subject to potential disruptions experienced by other FNOs working on the same route. When potential downtime is not just an inconvenience but potentially catastrophic for your business, a diverse and redundant fibre connectivity solution is key.

“Our MEF3.0 carrier Ethernet enterprise offerings come with high SLAs ideally designed for business needs, whereas the majority of current fibre deployments in Cape Town are GPON-based (gigabit Ethernet passive optical network) and not suited to the needs of large commercial operations. All MetroFibre POPs are also set up to handle loadshedding beyond stage 8,” he adds.

Why does global MEF compliance matter for business fibre customers? 

MetroFibre Networx owns and manages South Africa’s first globally compliant Carrier Ethernet 3.0 (CE 3.0) open-access fibre network that improves access, scalability and reliability for clients, and connects over 60 cloud, application, voice and Internet service providers with their customers. Through strategic partnerships and relationships with Teraco, MetroFibre can also directly link customers to the world’s unrivalled cloud operators such as Microsoft Azure, AWS and Google.

The Carrier Ethernet 3.0 (CE 3.0) program is a Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) framework, through which service providers and equipment vendors in any geography can demonstrate their compliance with globally recognised MEF Carrier Ethernet service specifications. CE 3.0 standards accelerate the deployment of Carrier Ethernet services (fibre) for business by reducing the time and resources needed to assess service offerings and equipment – since the MEF compliance immediately verifies that the services are fully standardised for global deployment. 

MetroFibre provides some of the key factors that every business should consider in getting the best network solution for their connectivity needs: 

Reliability: Consistent performance of the network is fundamental, with minimal downtime and fast recover from any failures achieved through redundant pathways, failover protocols and high-quality equipment.

Scalability: Your network must be scalable and adaptable to increased demand without requiring a complete overhaul – by having modular equipment and designs, planning for future growth, and ensuring network protocols and technologies can handle expansion.

Security: Security measures must be implemented and maintained at every level, from physical access restrictions to firewall implementations, intrusion detection systems and regular security audits.

Performance: Low latency and high throughput are critical for many applications, especially real-time services like VoIP or video conferencing, which are mainstays for every business.

Flexibility: As technology and business needs rapidly evolve, the network should be as agile and adaptable in meeting these constantly changing connectivity demands. 

Manageability: Your network should be designed with tools and protocols that allow for easy management, diagnostics and troubleshooting, with user-friendly interfaces for network administrators.

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