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In lieu of the world demanding bigger and better, Newcastle, KZN’s internet infrastructure is currently being elevated to allow for faster line speeds and line packages. This follows Open-access Fibre to the Home (FTTH) network provider, Evotel beginning the installation of an upgraded fibre internet network throughout the town.
According to Evotel, this process follows requests by Newcastle residents and businesses for a more reliable internet network. Evotel then consulted with the Newcastle Municipality 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, Amiel Park, Hutten Heights, Newcastle Central, Gandhi Park, Richview, Lennoxton, Paradise and Arbor Park.
While Evotel is in favour of aerial installations, the installation of FTTH fibre network in Newcastle will, in this case, comprise of a trenched solution, using already existing municipal infrastructure, such as lampposts for a more cost-effective, quick to install and easily serviceable network.
With the municipality not allowing any aerial installations it was agreed, Evotel sticks to a traditional trenched installation.
Bradley Bekker, Head of Sales and Marketing for Evotel says, “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.”
Going on to state, 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, for the infrastructure to be safe from the elements, like wind, ice, water and the subsequent damage they can cause, deep trenching is a necessity.
Trenched solutions are more costly to install as well as repair. Such installations are generally suited for areas where poor weather is common. Bekker adds, “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.”
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 12 to 16 weeks to complete, if there are no unforeseen disruptions.”
However, when looking at the completed solution, the area to be covered post the installation, will connect an impressive 10 000 residences and businesses.
With Evotel officially beginning the installation in August, one of the benefits of the trenched fibre network installation is that it has offered employment opportunities for Newcastillians.
This is a result of Evotel working with local contractors in the area which connected fibre to homes within the community. Mishbe Projects is the main contractor and is supported by a few sub-contractors, highlighting the workers are mostly from Newcastle.
In terms of maintenance, Bekker confirms, maintenance of the infrastructure will be paramount to its continued success, with Evotel committed to doing their best in doing timely updates and repairs with as little disruption to communities’ lives and interruptions in their municipal services. This is despite it being a more complicated task than with an aerial infrastructure.
Additionally, Bekker states, “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 are encouraged to contact Evotel for their free fibre connectivity.
Bekker concludes in stating, “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.”
What are your thoughts on the installation of the trenched fibre network? Share your views with us in the comment section below?
This post and content is sponsored and provided by Evotel