Back in October 2014, it was planned that Link Africa and Frogfoot Networks would deploy a fibre optic network through the Constantia Valley using the sewer and stormwater drainage systems. The innovative FOCUS technology (Fibre Optic Cables in Underground Systems) would save time, money and avoid damaging roads and verges.
After initial in-principle approval, Link Africa found themselves mired in red-tape and resistance from City engineers and managers concerned about potential risks and liabilities.
Formal approval and the signing off of on all the Agreements only happened in May 2016, some 19 months after the project commenced.
As a result of these delays, Link Africa had no option but to make use of conventional trenching to start deploying fibre. Not doing so would have put them at an extreme commercial disadvantage to Telkom who had already begun trenching. Certain areas in Constantia may well be serviced using FOCUS (probably less than 40%, whereas 80% was originally planned). Here is a status report from Link Africa hot off the press:
Below is a map indicating the areas in which we are currently building. Black Lines indicate ‘live’ fibre and yellow lines indicate ‘trenches’ in build.
4 of the planned 14 zones in the Constantia area have been completed and fibre is now available to more than 1500 homes (approximately 40% of the 3500 properties in Constantia). This means that residents in zones 1, 3, 4 and 10 can be connected within 4 – 6 weeks of ordering their fibre lines on the www.frogfootfibre.com website.
Zones 11, 12 and 13 are in the build stage for completion in November. Wayleaves for Zone 14 have been submitted and are awaiting approval from the City. As soon as received, they will communicate the start date. Zones 2 and 6 are currently in survey and are hoping to commence with deployment prior to the December freeze period mandated by the City on all civil construction.
Unfortunately, despite their best efforts, a few water pipes and irrigation systems have been dug up. Residents can rest assured that the contractors will re instate all property as best they can. They are being vigilant to keep the construction sites safe and clean. Fortunately with the approval of FOCUS technology they will be making more use of the sewers and storm water systems going forward where permitted. Where incidents occur, please notify either the site supervisor whose details can be found on the construction notice boards or send an email to email@example.com and we will respond promptly.
Some residents have asked whether they can install their own duct from their property boundary to their home. Our response is “absolutely” as it will speed up the fibre delivery. We suggest residents use a minimum of a 25mm duct and run it as straight as possible along a portion of their property unlikely to be dug up accidently. Recommended depth is 400mm. Should they require any further advise please mail Link Africa at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To recap on the ordering of services, customers to please visit www.frogfootfibre.com and click on the “Order Here” button. Then simply fill in their details, select a preferred package (including speed) and an Internet Service Provider (ISP) will contact them. For advise on speeds, capped or uncapped, VOIP or to retain existing services please consult with your ISP. Link Africa will install a fibre point into the nearest practical point and your ISP will assist you with any further needs.