Fibre

Fibre Roll-Out Projects: Update 3

Written by Riaan Niewoudt

Dear LIFCO community,

 

We are pleased to provide you with the third status update on the two fibre projects currently being rolled out in our area. The wheels are rolling well on both sides, and in the not-too-distant future, we will all have access to world-class internet!

 

 

The sections below detail the progress of each provider's fibre roll-out, followed by how to finally order your fibre to your home or business.

 

Openserve / Huawei

 

A lot has happened on Openserve and Huawei’s side of things, even though we haven’t had any updates from them until now.

 

Currently, more than half of Strubens Valley has had their fibre access completely finished off, and residents can start ordering their fibre! The reason for this is that this side of our community is connected to the backbone that runs up Christiaan de Wet Road.

 

For the rest, Huawei has divided up our residential area into five zones and has officially started their roll-out on 8 May 2017. They have enough teams to roll out each zone in parallel to each other. On top of this, a new backbone has to be run, which will go down Cascades Road.

 

Fibre in the five zones will be run on top of existing telephone poles, but the backbone has to be trenched and it will be the critical path of the roll-out (it will take the longest). It currently seems as if this is the only area where trenching will occur.

 

Once Huawei is 100% done, they will hand over to Openserve, who will come out and test each and every fibre termnation point in the area for Quality Assurance. Once they are done with that and are satisfied with the quality of the installation work, you can proceed to order your fibre!

 

The current estimated project completion date: end of June 2017

 

At the time of writing this post, we hadn't yet received information on how the zones are divided exactly, but as soon as we know, we will update you! The progress for each zone is indicated below.

  • Zone 1: 100% completed (This is from Fredenharry Rd all the way to Clearwater Mall)
  • Zone 2 (J7): Civils 90%, Aerial 40%
  • Zone 3 (J9): Civils 80% Aerial 50%
  • Zone 4 (J11): Civils 70% Aerial 30%
  • Zone 5: (J13): Civils 90% Aerial 80%
  • Backbone (J-run): 40%

Vumatel / Fibrehoods / GPS

 

As explained in an earlier post, Fibrehoods has been purchased by Vumatel, and now rolls out fibre for them. Global Platinum Solutions (GPS) is the subcontractor for Fibrehoods. They plant the poles and run the fibre.

 

Fibrehoods also runs aerial fibre. They do so by making use of existing streetlights, and whichever side of the street does not have streetlights, poles are planted. This is done so that fibre can be supplied to houses on either side of the street, and looks better than stringing fibre back and forth across the road.

 

Once again, Strubens Valley is getting all of the love, with the project having advanced the most on that side.

 

The roll-out has several stages:

  • Marking of pole locations, which is indicated by a red or orange line on the paving. Typically, once the markings are done, a couple of days are provided to residents to dispute the marked locations. (GPS)
  • Digging of holes and planting of the poles (GPS)
  • Stringing of the fibre (GPS)
  • Quality Assurance to ensure installation is working. Once completed, the network is handed over to Vumatel. (Fibrehoods)

The current estimated project completion date: end of June 2017

 

Below, the project progress and demarcated zones are indicated on the map (the map has been resized to fit better on the page, but can be downloaded to be viewed in its full resolution).

  • Zone 1: 46% completed
  • Zone 2: 28% completed
  • Zone 3: 28% completed
  • Zone 4: not started
  • Zone 5: not started
  • Zone 6: not started

FibrehoodsFibreZones 

 

Ordering your fibre

 

Once the fibre is available in your area, how do you actually get it at your home or business? Each of the two fibre infrastructure providers has a range of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) that provide internet access on their networks. Some ISPs are even present on both providers, and it would be a good idea to compare packages for the same ISP on both providers to get an idea where one would get the best value for one's money.

 

Below is a table of ISPs for each provider. We have tried to include as many ISPs as possible, but mostly only ISPs that provide Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) services were listed, and we excluded ISPs providing only specialised services to businesses. For a complete list, please visit the website of each provider.

 

Openserve ISPs Vumatel ISPs
Afrihost AfriHost
Axxess Axxess
Cool Ideas Cell C
Home-Connect Clear Access
ISP Afrika Comtel Communications
MWeb Cool Ideas
RSAWeb Crystal Web
Telkom Cybersmart
Vodacom eNetworks
Vox Telecom Gigazone
Web Africa Home-Connect
Comtel iConnect Telecoms
OpenWeb MWeb
  RSA Web
  SAI
  Telkom
  Vodacom
  Vox Telecom
  Web Connection
  Web Africa
  XDSL