Vumatel stops rolling out fibre in KwaZulu-Natal

Vumatel has stopped rolling out fibre in KwaZulu-Natal, according to an email seen by MyBroadband.

The email was sent to a Durban resident who said his complex was set to receive fibre from Vumatel, following the rollout of fibre infrastructure in his area in 2018.

“Near the end of the year we had a site survey done in our apartment complex, this was put to our body corporate, and the official documents were signed near the end of the year,” the resident told MyBroadband.

Come April 2019, however, the resident said he received the following email from Vumatel:

Please note that we have had some challenges with the build in KwaZulu-Natal which is making it difficult to roll out the network. We are constantly focused on moving South Africa forward so we have made a decision to focus our efforts elsewhere so that we do not lose momentum in our continued efforts to build a connected South Africa.

Vumatel has therefore decided to stop the rollout of fibre in KZN at this time. This means that we will no longer be rolling fibre out to your suburb or complex. We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused.

The resident added that while his area was previously listed as a “Build in Progress” on Vumatel’s coverage map, it has now been removed.

Vumatel confirms email

Vumatel confirmed to MyBroadband that it has stopped its fibre rollout in KwaZulu-Natal.

“This decision was not taken lightly. We continually evaluate the viability of network rollouts and despite our best efforts to continue the rollout of our network in KZN, we remain challenged by circumstances beyond our control. We prefer not to comment on the nature of the challenges,” said Vumatel.

Unfortunately for residents waiting for fibre, Vumatel said it cannot commit to connecting them.

Problems in KZN

This is not the first time Vumatel has run into problems in KwaZulu-Natal.

The network operator was forced to stop work in the province in August 2018, following threats against its workers.

A MyBroadband reader who lives in Pinetown told MyBroadband he received an email from Vumatel stating that work in the province had been suspended.

“Please note that Vumatel’s contractors have been forced to put a temporary stop to all work on site with immediate effect,” stated the email.

“Due to incidents of intimidation and threats made by various groups in KwaZulu-Natal, it is not safe or practical for the contractors to continue working in the field at the moment.”

“This means that until the issues have been resolved, the contractors will be unable to attend to civil work or reinstatements. Vumatel is working very hard with the contractors to ensure that work can commence as soon as possible.”

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Vumatel stops rolling out fibre in KwaZulu-Natal