The Fund has invested in a Southern African based Fibre-To-The-Home (FTTH) open access network operator, as well as an associated business-focused Internet Service Provider (ISP). Within the last 10 years, fibre has become the fastest growing fixed-line broadband access technology globally, with over 200 million subscribers and a 40% market share. Copper-based access subscriptions have been on the decline since 2012, and were overtaken by fibre subscription numbers in 2015. Extrapolation of the rate of decline of copper subscriptions and the rate of increase of fibre subscribers points to an irreversible cross-over in 2016. There is a worldwide trend for households to demand ever-increasing access speeds which is illustrated through the adoption rates of broadband speed offerings. Demand in bandwidth has mainly been driven by video streaming and cloud-based applications.
In the African context, access to broadband internet is seen as an enabler of economic activity and essential to ensuring that African economies are able to keep abreast of their global counterparts. This investment by the Fund will allow for the accelerated deployment of high-speed internet infrastructure to residential areas, across which end-users are able to access third party content and services.