Gimme Fibre Day! – High-Speed Internet For All
Telecom Fiji is celebrating “Gimme Fibre Day!” to showcase and reflect on the importance of fibre, and the role it has played in ensuring that Fijians can enjoy access to the internet with a level of reliability and speed on par with the rest of the world.
In 2013, the annual event “Gimme Fibre Day!”, set on 4 November, was created by the Fibre To The Home (FTTH) Council Global Alliance to celebrate and highlight how fibre internet positively impacts individuals and their communities across the world in terms of economy, society and quality of life.
Similarly, Telecom strongly believes that high-speed internet access is crucial for economic growth and improving the Fijian quality of life.
A 100 per cent Fijian owned company, Telecom is practically the backbone of ICT infrastructure in Fiji and, since their beginning in 1900, has continued to lead the way in ensuring Fiji is connected to the rest of the world, as well as empowering Fijians as much as possible.
Long gone are the days when access to the internet was a luxury only available to the privileged few and downloading a single song would take half an hour. The internet has now become an essential part of life, covering aspects beyond entertainment and leisure, and forming the foundation for how we stay in touch, study, and conduct work and business in the modern age.
A key part of this change has been upgrading and replacing legacy infrastructure, like traditional copper wires used by DSL and cable internet which were originally intended to transmit voice only, limiting the amount of data they can handle, in favour of fibre-based infrastructure.
But what makes fibre so great and how does this affect you? Simple answer – faster internet that is more reliable and less prone to outages.
Your internet speed depends on how much data the infrastructure can handle and fibre-optic internet lines transfer data using modulated light, instead of electricity, which gives them much higher bandwidth capacity, since they’re not bound by the physical limitations of electricity conducting through metal.
This is why fibre stands out, as its bandwidth capabilities have the potential to reach gigabit speeds – literally 100 times faster than those old copper wire connections. With fibre you have the speed you need to run all your internet-connected devices without incessant pauses or that annoying buffering sign.
But a fibre-based infrastructure benefits you in more ways than just having a lag-free Netflix viewing experience. Telecom is basically the essential service provider to other service providers and a more robust fibre-based infrastructure benefits Fiji as a whole.
Fiji’s essential services, communications and data networks all rely on Telecom’s fibre technology to function at high capacity and reliability. This includes basic utility services like electricity and water benefitting from the added stability and bandwidth, as well as important services like our air traffic control.
Fibre is also better for carrying information long distances as electronic signals are negatively affected by long-distance travel and less prone to electrical or radio disturbances.
The farther a signal has to travel, the more it degrades, and the weaker it will be. Copper cable links are usually limited to a distance of 100 metres or less, but fibre-optic cables can run up to almost 40 kilometres before they lose signal strength, which makes them a better and stronger option overall.
This sort of reach and stability, in turn, means Fijians in rural and maritime areas will also have better access to opportunities in today’s information age, without the need to move away from the communities they love.
Another little known-fact about fibre internet is that it is a “greener” internet technology, which Fiji, as a champion against climate change, has a vested interest in. Compared to older systems, fibre has a minimal ecological impact, reduces waste, consumes very little energy, and helps decrease greenhouse gas emissions.
It is also very sustainable and can more easily withstand the elements, such as rain, and wind, meaning repairs are needed less often, and as a future-proof solution, fewer resources will be needed in maintenance or replacement.
This is why Telecom has pledged to invest 180 million into expanding its fibre infrastructure over the next 5 years to increase fibre penetration in more parts of Fiji.
“Being 100% Fijian owned, we are committed to investing in developing infrastructure in Fiji and bringing the same level of communication services to Fiji as found in other developed countries,” said Telecom CEO, Charles Goundar.
“Fibre technology is now a fundamental part of modern infrastructure, and we always want to see Fiji punch above its weight and be on par with other technologically advanced nations.”
Mr Goundar said that Fiji is a leader in the Pacific region in terms of the development of its ICT sector and investment into its telecommunication infrastructure and Telecom supports and shares these initiatives by the Fijian Government.
“We wish all our customers a happy “Gimme Fibre Day!” and rest assured that we are working hard to get fibre to as many Fijian homes as possible,” Mr Goundar said.
“All this development comes at a price, but we believe in what we are doing and that it is worth every cent spent. We are investing in the future of Fiji – and I can think of nothing worth doing more.”