The Rise of the SMART Community – and why it’s great for business in SA
SMART communities are business parks defined by their access to readily available, high-speed broadband, formed out of a collective need for a level of connectivity too costly for any single business to afford. By distributing the cost among the collective, it’s significantly more affordable for each. The result is a hub of innovation, built atop a single Fibre optic backbone.
The benefits of a SMART community come down to its dedicated Fibre connection. The most obvious strength is that Fibre is blindingly fast, able to support speeds of up 1Gpbs and higher. This opens a huge door of opportunity for businesses to adopt cloud services.
The use of cloud services allows for remote access to operational tools and assets, mobilises employees, and improves collaboration by allowing for quick, seamless and simultaneous access to those same tools and assets. That’s particularly true if businesses within the same SMART community are partnered together or collaborate with one another.
That same level of connectivity will also save money, reducing the need to travel for meetings, but most importantly, it creates room for innovation. There’s no denying that a greatly enhanced digital presence empowers businesses to offer better customer service, as well as deliver new, disruptive products and services to customers/clients, but this isn’t a one-way street.
As counter-intuitive as it may seem, that very same digital presence also elevates a business’s ability to secure its network by accessing next-generation cybersecurity technologies: contextually-aware security analytics and predictive algorithms, for example. And because of the nature of Fibre optics – producing no measurable electromagnetic field, making it much harder to tap – it’s a much more secure way of transmitting data.
The appeal of Fibre is undeniable, but the extent to which it’s utilised will come down to individual businesses. What Fibre offers is a number of solutions to obstacles that copper wire – as used in ADSL/VDSL – simply cannot overcome. Unlike copper wire, Fibre is less susceptible to interference, impervious to weather and temperature, and has no resell value to cable thieves, all of which help to guarantee uptime.
Wireless connectivity, by contrast, is quicker and cheaper to scale or increase its reach, but its speed is an order of magnitude slower than Fibre, serving better as a way of extending the Fibre backbone.
Uptake is a critical component, so the more businesses participating in a SMART community, the more affordable it is for both current and new businesses. From the moment a new business moves in, it can be connected immediately, saving money and time – as there is no need to source a service provider or wait for installation to take place. It’s the first step in realising SA’s move towards entire SMART cities, connected and collaborating as one.
The future is undoubtedly SMART cities, but it starts with SMART communities – individual businesses working together to empower one another, foster collaboration and achieve more value through unprecedented connectivity. To thrive in the digital age, you need to be able to do more, and it begins with Fibre to your business.