MyBroadband has received several complaints from people regarding the accuracy of Openserve’s fibre coverage map.
Users complained that although fibre has been installed in their neighbourhood, they have been unable to order FTTH.
Others have faced the opposite, where the fibre map says they are covered, but ISPs are not able to process an order due to feedback from Openserve about a lack of fibre availability.
Fibre infrastructure providers face challenges
Cybersmart CTO Laurie Fialkov said that since they started laying their own fibre, they’ve gained insight into the challenges Openserve faces.
“A lot of work is done by outsourced contractors and I am sure there are many departments,” said Fialkov.
He said communication between departments likely results in the maps only being updated when contractors say they are finished.
However, the data Internet service providers get is only updated when the builds are signed off.
“This is extremely frustrating for us the ISP, but I can see how it can easily happen.”
“It is a double-edged sword, I suppose,” said Fialkov.
Openserve could give them the map as per their website, in which case ISPs would be frustrated if they couldn’t deliver the link. Or they could stick with what they are doing and only give ISPs signed-off links.
Ideally, the Openserve map should stop reporting finished links, and only show fibre that has been signed off, said Fialkov.
“I am guessing their marketing department says otherwise.”
Openserve listening to feedback
MWEB said it has had concerns with Openserve’s lists and maps in the past, but the company has seen improvements.
“We continue to address these with our account team and are pleased with the improvements they have made to date, and have committed to make in the future,” said MWEB’s manager of product Carolyn Holgate.
Afrihost said this is a challenge all providers face, and Openserve may be the most noticeable as it has the largest footprint.
“We know that our providers are also committed to improving, as this is in everyone’s interests. Generally speaking, Openserve fibre orders are hassle-free,” said Afrihost.
In the event there are doubts about the accuracy of the fibre map, Afrihost provides a “I’m Sure I Have Fibre” button.
When clicked, Afrihost engages the provider to find out if they can manually allocate the order to get the client connected.
“In cases where the client is erroneously told he can get fibre, we add that client to a waiting list and make sure we alert them at the earliest opportunity when it becomes available.”
The map is updated when there is new data
Openserve told MyBroadband that it updates its fibre coverage map whenever there is new data available. The data is sent to ISPs on a weekly basis.
“As part of ongoing business operations, we continuously recommend to all ISPs that the address list is a more accurate source to use for placing orders,” said Openserve.