Open-access Fibre to the Home (FTTH) network provider, Evotel, will start the installation of an upgraded fibre internet network in Newcastle, KZN in August 2020.
Following requests by residents and businesses in Newcastle for an upgraded, faster and more reliable internet network, Evotel has consulted with the Newcastlemunicipality, ward councillors and residents to set out a plan for the development and implementation of such a network.
The FTTH network will cover 14 suburbs, which includes: Signal Hill, Schuinshoogte, Aviary Hill, Pioneer Park, Sunnyridge, Barry Hertzog Park, Ameil Park, Hutten Heights, Newcastle Central, Ghandi Park, Richview, Lennoxton, Paradise and Arbor Park.
As part of Evotel’s public participation programme and compliance, the company will host an online Town Hall meeting for residents, ward councillors and municipality members on Wednesday 29 July 2020, following Covid-19 regulations regarding large gatherings. The meeting will be live-streamed to Facebook and YouTube and will be chaired by Evotel Head of Sales and Marketing, Bradley Bekker. He will explain in detail what the installation of the fibre network will entail and answer the audience’s pressing questions.
The installation of FTTH fibre network will, in this case, comprise of a trenched solution, though Evotel is in favour of aerial installations, using already existing municipal infrastructure – lampposts – for a more cost-effective, quick to install and easily serviceable network. The municipality, however, does not allow any aerial installations, thus it was agreed that Evotel will do a traditional trenched installation.
“Although we advocate and mainly install aerial infrastructures, as we believe in its increased benefits, it doesn’t preclude us from doing trenched installations. We are as equipped and well-appointed to install a trenched or underground solution that is of an exceptional standard as our above-ground installations. Our ultimate goal remains to provide a fibre network that is fast and reliable to people and communities, be it through aerial or trenched infrastructures,” Bekker explains.
A number of municipalities and residents prefer all of their municipal services, such as water, electricity and fibre internet infrastructures to be installed underground. If a fibre deployment is asked for it should be noted, though, that for the infrastructure to be safe from the elements, like wind, ice and water and the damage it can cause, deep trenching is needed. Trenched solutions are more costly to install as well as repair. Such installations are generally suited for areas where poor weather is common. “Trenching solutions also compromises the integral structure of the road system and often these trenches collapse during the high rain seasons, which can cause further disruptions to services,” Bekker adds.
According to Bekker, the Newcastle trenched fibre network installation will take longer than an aerial rollout. “For the Newcastleinstallation we have calculated the process to take approximately 12to 16 weeks to complete if there are no unforeseen disruptions,” says Bekker.
The area to be covered during the Newcastle installation will connect 10 000 residences and businesses.
“Maintenance of the infrastructure will, of course, be paramount and we commit to doing our best in doing timely updates and repairs with as little disruption to communities’ lives and interruptions in their municipal services, despite it being a more complicated task than with an aerial infrastructure,” Bekker confirms.
As a service orientated company Evotel will adhere to all the terms and conditions of the wayleaves, law and bylaws, follow all processes and will remain transparent with all work being done in this regard.
Free Fibre to Schools
In line with Evotel’s promise of providing uncompromised services to its customers and communities, Bekker adds: “We have undertaken to provide free internet connections to all the schools that fall under the area of our network installation. The main focus here is to provide learners with the ability to connect to the internet, giving them access to the much-needed resources to be successful, they are our future leaders”.
All schools within the Evotel network area in Newcastle will benefit from the free internet connections the company will supply them with. If they chose to make use of the opportunity to get free fibre connectivity, they should contact Evotel. “We have aligned with certain internet service providers (ISP) who are working alongside us on this special project of uplifting the youth and offering more cost-effective access to smart-schooling,” Bekker concludes.