Why it can take a while to install fibre in your house

Waiting for your fibre connection to be installed at home can be frustrating, especially if you rely on an Internet connection for work.

Most installations typically take a week or two – from ordering your line to the connection being completed, and your Internet connection functioning.

The amount of time taken is due to the complex installation process and depends greatly on the fibre configuration passing the customer’s house.

You could easily be up and running within a few days after ordering, however, if the fibre at your residence did not require any additional work to install.

To find out more about the factors affecting this process, MyBroadband spoke to Openserve about its fibre installation process.

Average installation

Openserve told MyBroadband that fibre installation times can vary according to a number of factors, including ISP operations, contractor availability, and property type.

“While Openserve endeavours to completely fulfill an order within seven working days, it is important to note that each installation is unique, just as each residential property and customer is unique,” said Openserve.

“The fulfilment of an FTTH service is in effect a customer-specific solution.”

Openserve added that it was also dependent on the availability of unrestricted conduits, customer premise equipment placement decisions, and allowing customers time to compare Openserve’s quotes with private contractors of their choice.

“In the last year, our fibre installation stats – as reported to ICASA – indicate that 80% were completed within seven days of verified orders received from ISPs,” said Openserve.

The company noted that its current average installation time is 11.3 days.

Installation process

Openserve provided a breakdown of its installation process, stating that its fibre access is only available in targeted areas.

“To provide Openserve fibre access to a residence, Openserve needs to complete work outside and inside the customer’s property. We perform that work in two stages,” said Openserve.

In the first stage, Openserve lays fibre cables in the main service sleeves to manholes on one side of the pavement. This could be underground cabling or aerial cabling, depending on the suburb.

“The addresses in these streets are then referred to and counted as the homes passed with fibre,” said Openserve.

“Openserve fibre can only be sold by ISPs to their customers in areas where Openserve has communicated that homes have been passed with fibre.”

The second stage comprises two phases and begins when an ISP routes their customer’s verified order to Openserve.

“In the first phase, the access from the street is checked,” said Openserve.

“If the property needs any entry pipes, Openserve will trench and lay the first eight linear metres at no cost.”

Openserve noted that costs will be incurred for distances above eight metres.

The next phase sees Openserve connecting the fibre to the CPE, which must be fixed to a wall inside the property, as designated by the customer.

“Both phases, as described above, are often completed on one appointment with the customer, especially when no additional trenching work is required,” said Openserve.

“Each installation is different but could last from 4-16 hours from the point at which the technician/contractors arrive.”

Openserve said it is working to improve turnaround times by improving specialist support, training, network support, and more.

“Openserve is consistently working to improve our internal and client-liaison processes towards reducing the time taken to install FTTH services,” it said.

Now read: How the government is holding back fibre rollouts in South Africa

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Why it can take a while to install fibre in your house