Welcome to the 2017 Conference

Dear Delegates and Sponsors

The 4th Industrial Revolution and the global digital economy are topics that are discussed at every ICT conference today. Optics is one of the key drivers of the 4th Industrial Revolution and the digital economy. Industrial Internet, Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data are also driven by optics, and so is the foundation of platform economics. All these latest developments are a testimony that fibre optic infrastructure is the “digital rail road” of the 21st century knowledge economy. Optics is now an integral part of real estate and property sector, health sector and the automobile market. Today the application of fibre optics go beyond traditional broadband connectivity.

The Fibre optics industry is currently implementing 100G optical layer networks, and research and development on 400G has started. These future speeds (400G) on one side and quantum computing on the other will no doubt transform not only our industry but the economy and society in general. These speeds will transform the way information is transported and so topics such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and 5G must be top of mind and must not catch us unawares. It is with this technology that we will create the world of the future and our collective responsibility is to make sure that Africa is not left behind in this race.

Domestic fibre optic infrastructure investment will help create a conducive environment for the global investment community to see Africa as an attractive investment destination with good returns. All these will not be possible without a predictable “light touch” regulatory environment. Clear and predictable regulation enables investment. Investments will create jobs and encourage a culture of entrepreneurialism in society. The relationship between GDP growth and broadband cannot be over emphasized.

This industry has, and still is, attracting global attention for many reasons, all of them the right ones. Africa is globally talked about because of the rate at which the telecommunication industry is growing.

Our industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in South Africa and Africa, creating thousands of jobs and opportunities. No wonder the world is looking.
Now is the time for us to seize the opportunities that arise. If we do it right, we can shape the future.

So, we must be the ones making it possible, building a sustainable fast internet for all which will undoubtedly bridge the digital divide.

Whilst we agree that the industry provides great opportunities, it has many aspects that require ongoing debate.

The annual conference will once again be that platform where we can have discussions around these topics that matters to the future of our industry.

Delegates; on behalf of board, The CEO and the Conference Organizing Committee, I am delighted to welcome all of you to Cape Town, South Africa, for the 6th edition of the FTTH Council Africa Conference and Exhibition that will take place from 3-5 October 2017, this year at the CTICC.
Let me extend my deepest appreciation to Richard Came who worked tirelessly to make sure that FTTH Council must be where it is today.
This is Africa’s biggest annual event devoted to the science and practice of Fibre optic infrastructure, and as is designed to give you, the delegate, a platform to exchange ideas, discover opportunities, reacquaint with colleagues, meet new friends, and broaden your knowledge.

Maximize your personal involvement, engagement and networking by attending pre-conference workshops, plenary sessions and break-away talks presented by some of the best speakers from around the world.

Finally, allow me to thank our sponsors for making this a truly great conference – without your support this event will not take place. If you have not booked your space, please contact our conference team to do so now.

We look forward to seeing all of you in Cape Town later this year.

Andile Ngcaba
FTTH Council Africa