Residents in outlying areas across South Africa have been waiting for faster Internet connections for too long. During COVID-19, having a fast and reliable Internet connection has become a necessity.
People are forced to work from home to decrease physical contact and follow social distancing regulations to curb the spread of the virus.
“It is unfair that residents in smaller towns always have to fight for better Internet connections. Imagine if they still had to deal with modem dial-up connections and the now almost feared sound that accompanied it, where would they be? They won’t only be lagging behind by miles, but lagging behind by light years,” said Bradley Bekker, Head of Sales at Evotel.
“Fibre is currently the best way of connecting people to the Internet and with a look to the future could easily be considered a basic necessity. The way the world is advancing with technologies permeating almost every aspect of life, from farming to education, a proper, fast, and reliable Internet connection is a must for growth and development,” Bekker added.
Reaching the unreached
Evotel has heard the call of small-town residents and together with municipalities and the communities stepped up to build fibre to the home (FTTH) networks in places such as Mogale City and Emalahleni (Witbank).
The fibre network we are currently building will provide faster upload and download speeds that are important for any business-related work and the connection to multiple platforms are also made easier, including banking and payment services – making life simply more convenient.
Our preferred method of rolling out our networks is using aerial fibre installations. Aerial fibre network installations are built using existing municipal infrastructure to quicken the roll-out whilst adding a further benefit of being easily serviced and maintained.
“Residents won’t have to wait days and weeks for cables to be fixed with lengthy approval processes and while urgent wayleaves are sought for trenching. With the aerial FTTH solution, everything is above-ground and there is no need to dig up the streets.”
Demand in Krugersdorp for fibre connections has also increased, and as a result Evotel is busy with extensions to the network and rolling out infrastructure to three added areas:
- Wentworth Park
The growth and development is such, said Bekker, that the estimation is we will connect close to 60,000 residences by the end of the year.
“We will be expanding our networks even further this year, by heading into Newcastle Kwa Zulu Natal. We held our second public participation with the residents of Newcastle on the 29th of July. We will definitely talk more into this shortly” says Bekker.
Free fibre for schools
In line with Evotel’s promise of providing uncompromised services, Bekker said: “We have undertaken to provide free Internet connections to all the schools that fall under the areas of our network installations. These currently comprise 42 schools across our entire coverage area and include primary schools, high schools, both public and private institutions.”
“It is based on the same principle of laying fibre to build smart cities, but now only for schools and to establish ‘smart-schools’ without the schools needing to expend any money for the infrastructure. “It’s one of the ways we give back to the community,” he added.
The main focus of this initiative is to provide learners with the ability to be successful, seeing that they are our future. “We want them to be successful, as they are the leaders of tomorrow.”
Bekker describes it as the school providing the vehicle while Evotel supplies the fast high-tech highway.
The fibre connectivity is not solely for learners, but also for teachers and administrative staff to assist in running an institution with the latest fibre technology available.
“We are providing a 200Mbps line, and up to 1Gbps line if there is a point-of-presence (PoP) connection close by. The cost of installation would normally be in the region of R2,100 once-off and then approximately R2,000 per month for the running and leasing of the fibre line, saving schools R24,000 per year which they can invest otherwise. We are sponsoring this to the schools to ensure the success of our youth’s education and a more advanced schooling environment where tablets and PCs can be implemented for learning,” Bekker explained.
“We are simply keeping to our promise of providing people with a fast and reliable fibre network connection that will suit their needs,” concluded Bekker.
This article was published in partnership with Evotel.