We would need permission before we install

I refer to the letter by Anonymous. This is not the way to conduct business.

Vumatel follows a very lengthy approval process before installing fibre into complexes, estates and apartment blocks.

The engagement starts with a meeting with the Body Corporate or landlord. Once we have met with the relevant parties and there is a thorough understanding of the process to install fibre into the complex, a survey is arranged. A Vuma representative will conduct a survey in order to determine how best to provision fibre onto the property.

We will aim to use existing conduits and plan the least disruptive route into the building or complex. Following the survey, plans are drawn up and submitted to the Body Corporate for approval. Once the plans have been approved and signed off, a kick-off meeting is scheduled. The kick-off meeting is held with the body corporate, the contractors and Vumatel and the purpose of the meeting is to walk through the proposed civil project.

Following the kick-off meeting, civil work begins. During the civil project Vumatel will install protective ducts, which will house the delicate fibre, from the sidewalk into the property. Upon the completion of the civil work, a quality check is performed to ensure that the workmanship is up to Vuma standards. Throughout the entire process, construction updates are provided to the Body Corporate who has a dedicated contact person at Vumatel. The Body Corporate usually communicates these updates to the rest of the residents in the complex as we generally will not have all of their contact details. Following the civil work, fibre is then provisioned through the protective ducting to the Network Distribution Point and is terminated on every floor of the building, or to every unit at a Central Distribution Point.

Terminating the fibre on each floor allows or to each unit allows for easy fuss-free installation when residents decide to order in-home installations. Vumatel ensures that the apartment building, complex or estate is made fibre-ready at no cost to the Body Corporate or the residents. Following the provisioning of the utility to the property, residents can then place orders to have fibre installed into their homes, if they so wish.

Vumatel charges a once-off installation fee which helps us to recover the cost of the labour and material required to install fibre into your home. The installation fee can be paid off and some Internet Service Providers cover the cost of the installation for residents, included in their packages. Complexes, estates and apartment blocks are private properties.

Vumatel will not install infrastructure into these properties without the signed consent of the Body Corporate or Landlord. Vumatel will also not prevent Body Corporates from choosing other infrastructure providers and it is well within their rights to decline our offer to make the complex fibre-ready. Vumatel is not a service provider but only installs open access infrastructure. There are over 20 Internet Service Providers who make use of Vumatel’s infrastructure to provide fibre broadband services to the end user, from Afrihost to MWEB.

This prevents the unnecessary duplication of infrastructure because each service provider does not have to install their own fibre and it makes the market far more competitive and drives down the price for the end user. Thanks to this competitive model, residents can get fibre (a premium product) at ADSL prices.We hope that this information addresses some of the concerns you have raised.

We are sorry to hear that you were not included in the decision-making process or kept updated and would suggest that you either discuss this with your body corporate or email us and let us know the name of your complex so that we can investigate and provide you with feedback. Please email us at [email protected] if you have any queries or concerns.

Roelien Vorster

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