Loadshedding & You!
Loadshedding is possibly the hottest topic on everyone’s lips these days and the situation is a huge concern impacting almost every aspect of our lives. Like water is a necessity for life, electricity is necessary for the internet, with which we can’t do much without this day and age. Communications, banking, shopping, working, playing… everything these days is somehow reliant on the internet to properly function. Without electricity, there is no internet.
Impact on the network
Loadshedding or any power outage, for that matter, can have a significant impact on your internet access and on the fibre network itself – affecting the network’s performance, which can cause increased latency and the speed of your internet connection, network equipment failure and full-on internet outages.
“We know the importance and the value the internet has for our customers, so one thing they can be sure of is that Evotel is doing everything to reduce the impact load-shedding has on our network. We are ensuring that we have adequate backup power supply to keep their internet connection active through the worst of load-shedding. In short, you will always have access to Evotel’s fibre internet at home unless you don’t have power at your house,” says Bradley Bekker, Evotel General Manager.
According to Bekker, the company has batteries, on-site generators and standby generators in close proximity to their network, if or when it is needed. The company is also making sure that all its power cables, connections and equipment are serviced and in good operating condition to curb any power outages that can affect the network up-time.
“Additionally, we closely monitor power supply to identify any potential issues that might arise and take action before these issues become serious problems that will affect the network going down,” Bekker adds.
As a user, you simply need to generate enough power at home to run your Optical Network Terminator (ONT) to connect to your ISP’s on the Evotel fibre network and/or to run your router; and of course any device you use to browse and play on the internet – TV, PC, laptop, mobile phone, etc.
There are many back-up power generating solutions on the market today to stand in while you are being load shed. These include UPSs (uninterrupted power supplies), fuel generators and inverters.
Size does matter
However, Bekker reminds us that the amount of power you need and the length of time you need that backup power will determine how much you are going to have to pay for your backup power solution.
A simple standard UPS will generate 8000mA (milliamps) per hour and will therefore be able to run a 1200mA ONT for up to seven hours. If you also run a standard router/modem with your ONT the 8000mA UPS will run those devices for between two and four hours. This will give you access to the internet during the two to four hour load shedding sessions only.
You simply have to make sure that your laptop or cellphone is charged or you will need a bigger UPS or generator or inverter to power them up as well.
Bekker also notes that with the loadshedding so regularly there is an increased risk of power surges when the power is reinstated. He recommends that you get a lightning strike or power surge protector to prevent possible damage to your ONT.
Damage due to surges
“ONTs are prone to get damaged by power surges. If your UPS does not have a built-in surge protector, it would be wise to get one. Even a simple surge protector that won’t set you back too much money and which you plug into the wall socket before you plug in the UPS will be sufficient. It will protect both your UPS and ONT as well as other devices that are connected when a power surge does occur when load shedding ends and Eskom switches the power back on,” he says.
From Evotel’s perspective, you can rest assured that you will always have internet access through Evotel’s network during load shedding. The only thing you are responsible for is to have some kind of power at your home to run your ONT and router. Be it through a UPS, a generator or an inverter – with enough capacity to power the ONT and router for the length of the load shedding bouts.