East Cape trainees to work on first phase of network

TWENTY people in the Eastern Cape will receive technical training as part of telecommunications company FibreCo’s ambitious drive to build South Africa’s largest long-distance open access fibre optic network.

About 2 400km of the network has so far been built, and it connects Johannesburg, Bloemfontein, East London and Cape Town.

FibreCo, a joint venture between Cell C, Internet Solutions and Convergence Partners, plans to build an additional part of the network along the N2 coastal route between Cape Town and Durban.

FibreCo marketing and communications manager Sharon van Loenen said the coastal part of the network would provide connectivity to underserviced areas along the coast, and link the undersea cable landing stations on the east and west coasts. “FibreCo anticipates this link to be completed by the end of next year.”

Twenty people based in East London have been selected to undergo training and form part of FibreCo’s plan to train 200 technicians across South Africa.

They will help maintain the existing parts of the network in communities close to where it is located.

FibreCo chief executive Arif Hussain said on completion of the training programme, the 20 candidates in East London would join 30 others who had completed the programme in Bloemfontein.

Hussain said the training programme, which had received accreditation from the Fibre Optic Association, would enable those who completed it to obtain jobs with FibreCo and at other networks. – Cindy Preller

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