Progress of the Constantia Fibre

With this news update, we would like to update you on the progress of the Constantia Fibre initiative that started in January 2015 – literally one year ago.

As you probably remember from our page, after reviewing the proposal and commercial offerings from more than 30 fibre providers, the Constantia steering committee chose LinkAfrica as its preferred partner to deploy an open access fibre optic network throughout Constantia for the benefit of our community.

Sadly, due to the City of Cape Town’s belief that it needs to consent to LinkAfrica deploying its fibre in the sewer and storm water technology, LinkAfrica has not been able to start the deployment of fibre as initially anticipated.

After protracted negotiations between the City and LinkAfrica, on 28th October 2015, the City Council authorised the commencement of a public participation process (PPP) in terms of Regulation 34 of the Municipal Asset Transfer Regulations, 2008. The City seeks to enter into a contract with Link Africa and grant it a right to use the City’s sewer and stormwater infrastructure to install fibre-optic cables for telecommunications purposes.

Although more than 2,000 residents in Constantia have already registered for Link Africa’s fibre through our community website portal, we now need to follow this process and email City representatives with our support for Link Africa’s fibre installation. The reason for choosing Link Africa have not changed and are as follows:

  • Less destruction of roads and pavements by using their cutting edge technology to deploy fibre in sewers and stormwater
  • Higher reliability of fibre service than running fibre over aerial and trenched channels
  • True open access model which means that their layer-1 network will be open to any internet service provider resulting in better service and lower prices (compared with Telkom’s monopoly pricing as seen with ADSL deployment)
  • Link Africa’s technology works in many other South African cities and around the world and a thorough review was carried out by SMEC concluding that it is most suitable for deployment in Cape Town’s sewer and storm water infrastructure, which would be serviced and improved by Link Africa in the process.
  • Free network access to all Constantia camera points and the community security control room resulting in tremendous support for the safety of Constantia residents.

What can you do to help?

Please click HERE in order to email the relevant representatives at City Council with an email that has pre-populated content. We do encourage you to submit comments in relation to the matter and suggest you include your own specific reasons for your support (or objection) to the proposed contract.

In the meantime, Telkom has dug up our roads and verges,  installed large manholes all over Constantia and deployed aerial fibre cables via their wooden Telkom poles. In a democracy and competitive market environment, residents have a choice and can sign up with Telkom for fibre in the mean time. However, we – the steering committee – believe that their technology, quality of service and pricing is of substantially lower quality compared with Link Africa’s offering, which is why they were chosen in the first place.

Again, it is very sad that so much red tape at the City Council’s office has delayed this project substantially, however, we do hope that this public participation process puts an end to the obstacles put in our way.

Thanks so much for your help and support!

All the best,
Martin Diessner
on behalf of the various community organisations behind this initiative

PS: Please forward this news update to any of your neighbours, friends & families, collegues that live in Constanatia or neighbouring suburbs – the more people positively respond the better the outcome for this public participation process. Thanks!

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