How to get fibre broadband rolled out to your neighbourhood

In May 2014, Parkhurst in Johannesburg took its broadband future into its own hands when it announced it had put out a request for proposals for infrastructure providers to build a fibre network in the neighbourhood.

Vumatel won the bid, and the first house in Parkhurst’s fibre-to-the-home network went live in October 2014.

Other suburbs and residential estates copied Parkhurst’s idea and launched similar bidding processes for fibre infrastructure in their areas.

While the formula for getting the interest of fibre providers seems straight-forward, executing it is often not that easy.

To find out what home owners’ associations and body corporates should do to ensure they attract the attention of network companies, we asked Vumatel for advice.

Register interest in targeted areas

Vumatel said it has launched an online portal that lets residents of suburbs it plans to target next express their interest in fibre broadband.

“Here we have identified the neighbourhoods we are targeting in the short term and it tracks the relevant neighbourhood’s progress relative to other suburbs,” said Vumatel.

Vumatel is not the only company to launch a portal through which people can register their interest for FTTH. Other examples include Metrofibre Networx, Cybersmart, and Telkom:

Organise, run a survey, solicit companies for proposals

For those who aren’t on an infrastructure provider’s short-term roadmap, the best bet is to survey their neighbourhood to establish how many residents are interested in fibre broadband and what they are willing to pay.

Typical questions include:

  1. Are you interested in a fibre broadband service?
  2. What speed service are you interested in (4Mbps, 10Mbps, 25Mbps, 50Mbps, 100Mbps)?
  3. How much data cap do you need (50GB, 100GB, uncapped)?
  4. How much are you willing to pay per month for fibre broadband?
  5. How much are you willing to pay once-off for the installation?

Results should be compiled into graphs and tables and included in the request for proposals that are sent to network infrastructure companies.

Vumatel said it is willing to offer assistance to suburbs which aren’t included in its short-term plans.

“They can always contact us at [email protected] to express their interest.”

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How to get fibre broadband rolled out to your neighbourhood