Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Fibre Optics Update May 2018

Morning All  
Fibre is coming!!!

It is official, you can start the celebrations.  Openserve has already started laying fibre in Sunset Beach.  Estimated end date is September 2018. YAY!

Background and thank you

Thank you to everyone who has spent many long hours doing extensive research on their own time, engaging many fibre providers to bring fibre to SB.

Fibre was listed as the TOP PRIORITY by residents in the Dec 2016 SBHOA poll.
We (SBHOA) started work over a year ago to get fibre in Sunset Beach.  
No fibre company was interested in Sunset Beach and we had build a case for OpenServe, our fibre provider of choice. (Remember all the door knocking; forms to sign “Yes I am interested in fibre”, street whatsup groups etc.)

Fast forward a year later and we have many fibre companies knocking on our door.  All coming to Sunset Beach next month! (Many promises, where were they a year ago?)

Important facts you need to know: Fibre provider vs. ISP

Before you read the latest, please see few facts that are important to get to grips with.  Written in non-technical terms e.g. English

·       OpenServe will install the fibre backbone or infrastructure.  This is a very important differentiation between fibre provider and ISP (Internet Service provider) as you cannot access fibre without an ISP.

The fibre provider links from the main fibre point (in our case Milnerton Clinic) and brings fibre “the physical fibre” to every street in Sunset Beach. The fibre lines runs underground.

·         ISP - Short for Internet Service Provider, it refers to a company that provides Internet services, including private and business access to the Internet.

The ISP utilises the fibre that is owned by OpenServe to connect you to the internet. OpenServe owns the fibre infrastructure, or the physical fibre line.
SB residents buy their fibre connectivity from the ISP. In other words, you buy a package from the ISP and this is where you choose:
a)    How much R per month
b)    Speed and availability
c)    Duration of contract etc

So in short – physical fibre = OpenServe. You as a fibre customer, do not deal with OpenServe, you deal with the ISP. 
ISP = sells you your fibre/internet package per month.

Why chase Openserve as fibre provider for Sunset Beach?

First, it is a free market.  Any fibre provider can lay fibre in Sunset Beach.
The fibre runs under the street verges, which is council property. 

We (SBHOA) have however built a relationship with Openserve and pushed the company to be first fibre provider in Sunset Beach.  Other fibre providers are more reluctant to invest in an area where fibre is already installed.

No digging!!!  Have you seen Sea Point recently?  Did you know that your verge is council property and you have no say how/when they dig, also have no authority to push the fibre providing company to restore your verge to previous state?
Fibre providing companies do however say “they will do their best, while their priority remains to roll out fibre as fast as possible in the street.

Openserve is a Telkom subsidiary company, this means that they will use the existing Telkom infrastructure (pipes – called conduits) underground to pull through fibre.  Other fibre providers are not allowed to use the Telkom conduits.

Digging may happen by exception e.g. a conduit is blocked from cement because of previous house building or tree roots that have grown through the conduit.
OpenServe may also dig for “hubs” at central points which will serve as “Local Nodes”

The installation of good quality fibre infrastructure costs us nothing – neither do we make any profit. (FYI Sunset Links residents just paid R5 000 per house for fibre access).

Access to 52+ competitive well-known ISP’s.
You can choose an ISP that suit your needs!  This means you can stay with an existing ISP (highly likely to be an OpenServe ISP) or choose a new ISP.
You determine your own monthly package e.g. data speeds, costs etc.
You can sign a contract with an ISP for the length of time that suits you.

An ISP open day will also be facilitated by the SBHOA and Openserve, it will feel like shopping in one location for your ISP’s!  More info to follow – OpenServe has committed to arrange open day soon, more news will follow.

Our neighbours, Sunset Village are included
Upon our request, Openserve has included Sunset Village.
Openserve has already started measuring in Sunset Village and they may be live first!

Communication – what happens next?
We (SBHOA fibre team) met the Openserve team and they are transparent and willing to work with us in communicating their progress with us as needed.
We will meet the Openserve team every 2 weeks with the purpose to share information with all SB residents
Our next meeting is Tuesday, 15 May.  Openserve will share the high-level plan of when which area will be completed. 
FYI - Openserve have 4 different teams working at different locations to complete work soonest.
We will also have our “Charlie” onsite – Charlie is important to us as he is the Openserve representative who will handle any issues we report with the contractors.

Your personal security during fibre installation:
All fibre service providers will be clearly identified.  Should you have any concerns, please contact your security company. The SBHOA fibre team will brief the local Security Service Providers during the week 14 May.
We will also post photos of service providers vehicles and service clothes. 

Have Your Say!
Click on the image above to comment.
Should you wish to add or correct any information on the above write up, please email me at lise.lotze@gmail.com.  I am happy to update weekly.

Who is the SBHOA? Sunset Beach Home Owners Association
Many of us on the SBHOA and a few residents have worked very hard to make fibre happen. 
The SBHOA is a group of professional people from various backgrounds who voluntary chair and are members of a committee who has Sunset Beach best interests at heart.
Our meetings are open, and residents are welcome to attend or read minutes.
Most of us (SBHOA) are full time employed and find it challenging to manage the responsibilities of family (many have small kids), work and life.

We are united by shared values in looking after our neighbourhood. Our priorities remain
a)    Safety and security, b) Increase in house prices and c) building a community.
 We do not receive any payment for our services, we do not even claim our phone costs. 
You are welcome to apply to join the SBHOA team, we always look for enthusiastic individuals who wants to improve Sunset Beach. Email me – Lise Lotze on office@sunsetbeach.org.

What we need from you is to please:
1.    Provide feedback and let us know what you think, what SB needs?

2.    Please be kind in your interaction with us?  We would very much appreciate as we manage projects after hours. (And yes, it can be tough and disheartening to be targeted by a few individuals who believe we run a conspiracy of some kind)
3.    Please pay your very cheap levy of R750 per year.  You can also pay in very affordable installments.  Please contact Sonet on office@sunsetbeach.org.