New fibre-to-the-home neighbourhood project in SA

Parkview, an upmarket suburb in Johannesburg, has revealed its intention to follow in the footsteps of nearby Parkhurst to get fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) services rolled out to the area.

In mid-May 2014, Parkhurst announced that it had put out a request for proposals, asking network infrastructure providers to bid on installing a fibre network in their neighbourhood.

The Parkhurst Residents and Business Owners Association conducted an online survey which found that 67% of residents were willing to pay R750 per month or more for fibre connectivity, and 77% were willing to pay R1,000 or more in installation and capital costs.

Indra de Lanerolle, a visiting research associate at the University of Witwatersrand and the person heading up the Parkview Residents’ Association (PRA) fibre project, said they are currently going through a similar process.

The PRA has asked residents to complete an online survey, asking them what they are willing to pay for Internet access speeds of up to 100 Megabits per second (Mbps).

They expect to have the results of the survey “some time in August,” De Lanerolle said.

“Our next step, once we have analysed the results, is to produce a request for proposals,” De Lanerolle said.

“We see our primary role in aggregating demand from residents to try to get the best levels of services and the most competitive prices for them,” he added.

The PRA hopes that the proposals will come from industry suppliers.

This includes Telkom, which already has plans to roll out very-high-bitrate digital subscriber line (VDSL) services to Parkview from September.

Asked how Telkom’s 2014 VDSL roll-out plans affected their approach, De Lanerolle said that any improvements in infrastructure and service available to households should be good news.

“Their current plan as told to me by a senior executive, is to roll out VDSL from around November,” De Lanerolle said, adding that they hope Telkom will put up a proposal and will consider moving directly to FTTH.

“Of course we will be interested in their proposed pricing in comparison to pricing competitors are willing to offer,” said De Lanerolle.

More on FTTH in South Africa

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Broadband in SA: not a good story to tell

Where you can get Telkom 40Mbps VDSL, 100Mbps FTTH

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New fibre-to-the-home neighbourhood project in SA