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Connecting the community fibre

A large number of Stellenberg residents came out to a meeting with fibre supplier Vumatel last week Tuesday to hear how the roll-out of this service will affect them.

“Last night we held a ‘town hall’ meeting at Stellenberg High School for residents from Stellenberg, Eversdal and surrounding areas,” says Giorgio Iovino from Vumatel.

He says that trenching will start in the following suburbs over the next few weeks: Eversdal, Stellenberg, Stellenryk, Ridgeworth, Rosendal, Eversdal, Everglen, Sonstraal, Aurora, Racecourse and Vredekloof.

“Residents were invited to learn more about the benefits of fibre and how the roll-out will impact them. It is ‘painful’ to install the fibre into the ground, given that trenching takes place in the sidewalk on both sides of the road, but it is short term – two to three weeks of disruption – and in the long run, it is a game-changer,” he says.

Speaking on behalf of the Stellenberg Neighbourhood Watch (SNW), chairperson Alet du Preez says: “We are excited about the roll-out of ... fibre to the homes in our suburb because of the many benefits that high-speed connectivity brings to our lives. Not only is it a game-changer for people working from home, but it also has a positive impact on the value of our homes,” she says.

“Vumatel has been engaged with the SNW and surrounding areas since September 2016. We have been working together to spread the word in our community on the benefits of a connected home, and since then we have managed to qualify our area with over 30% of our residents showing their support for the project,” she adds.

Around 200 people attended the meeting at Stellenberg High School, where the fibre provider explained more about what is involved during the roll-out, particularly regarding what people can expect in front of their homes.

“We are very excited to become one of the next connected suburbs in South Africa.”

Iovino says they concentrate on “socialising” the idea and educating people about the process of installing fibre to the area.

“This includes working with the local community organisations such as ratepayers, or community watches.” They also engage with ward councillors and of course the City of Cape Town, he says.

“We even go as far as having community liaisons on the ground dealing with residents’ concerns.”

He says they have been servicing Kenridge and Durbanville Hills since January, with the first homes “going live” in these areas by the end of March.

“Vumatel also supplies a connection of one gigabit per second to all schools passed by its network. Kenridge Primary School and Fairmont High School will be the first schools connected to our network by the end of the month,” he says. To see whether your home is covered by the network, visit www.vumatel.co.za.

What is your opinion on this article? Let us know at briewe@tygerburger.co.za.

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