VUMA FTTH Rollout Update

Vumatel provided the following update on the 17th of October 2014:4aaab27e-a2e1-4ce7-b208-37eb819a28db

Construction of the Parkhurst fibre network has been in progress for 6 weeks. We wanted to share some of the lessons and plans going forward.

Before we get to that, the power outage that affected a large part of the suburb on Wednesday (15th of October) was caused by us. We want to formally apologise and explain exactly what happened. VUMA’s philosophy is to work with the community in an open and honest manner. When we do not perform, things do not go to plan or problems occur we take ownership and try to resolve it as painlessly as possible.

Wednesday was a bad day for us. Our contractor hit a City Power cable on 4th Ave between 16th & 17th Street.  A large part of the suburb was left without power until late that night. On review we believe it is unlikely we could have avoided this incident but the buck does stop with us. We feel responsible for the event.

Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused.

We have compiled an incident report that is available here to explain how it happened. This provides more information on the incident, processes followed and timelines of the various actions we took.

Challenges

Overall we are learning some valuable lessons. Re-instatement by our teams is taking too long, especially getting vegetation and paving back to its original state. This is due to the variation of pavements in the suburb.  Work has had to be re-done in certain instances, as it has not passed quality standards. We would rather get it right now, before moving onto the next blocks. Specialist teams have been brought in to help restore paving and vegetation.
 
Occasionally we damage irrigation pipes in the road verges. They are generally shallow and difficult to identify. Our turnaround to repair has improved thanks to an onsite plumber working with the VUMA team.
 
See below to get an idea of the number of incidents we have encountered so far:
 

Type Minor (localized) Avg repair time Major
(wider area)
Avg repair time
Electricity 3 2 – 4 hours 1 8 hours
Water 16 0,5 – 2 hours 0
Gas 4 3 – 4 hours 0

A New Approach

Our initial thinking was to spread construction work across the suburb. The plan was to dilute disruption rather than concentrate it to a specific area. We realise that this has led to some unintended consequences. It has made it difficult to manage contractors, solve issues and monitor quality. Being too widely spread is simply tougher to control.

We will now revise this approach and deploy approximately 10 adjacent blocks at a time, rather than continuing in such a scattered manner. This approach will improve focus, time to install, quality control, and go a long way in reducing some of the challenges we have experienced so far.

To do this, we need to reshuffle the rollout schedule. This might mean you now fall into a different phase, with a new delivery date for getting fibre. Please bear with us. Doing it this way will ensure that we finish the installation for the whole suburb in the shortest time possible.

Some of the phase 1 & 2 blocks are approximately 2 weeks behind schedule due to some of the challenges mentioned above. We believe the overall schedule for completing the project by end the of February 2015 is still achievable.

The new rollout schedule & dates will be available early next week.  We will let you know when it is available.

We appreciate your patience and support. Soon this short term pain will be replaced by the true high speed connectivity. Our first connections are only about 2 weeks away!

The benefits will then start to become real and Parkhurst will lead South Africa in domestic connectivity.

As always, if you have questions, please get hold of us.

The VUMA Team

VUMA Fibre-to-the-home Update

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Dear Parkhurst Residents

Rollout of the VUMA Fibre network is well underway in Parkhurst.

The core ring (green ring on rollout map) is about two weeks away from being completed. We need it to be in place for homes to get connected.

The phase 1 blocks are all under construction. We are learning some valuable lessons at the moment including encountering services not identified by council wayleaves. This has hampered production a little, but we are getting on top of it.

We are also working to develop better methods to deal with the challenges of re-instating sidewalk vegetation.

Please keep in mind we are here to work with you and resolve all issues ASAP. Thank you for your patience so far and let us know if we can help.

We know most of you are concerned about reinstatement. This process can take a few days and at times may seem like the construction team has moved on. Don’t worry, we use separate teams for this.

The reinstatement process is as follows. Firstly, all trenches are backfilled with soil and then compacted by the construction team. We need time for the compaction to settle. Thereafter the surface is re-instated to its original condition by specialist labour such as pavers. Only once this has been completed do we perform a final quality check.  If we are not satisfied, we will have it re-done until it is correct and can be signed off.

We are fully committed to re-instating the road reserves (sidewalks) to their original condition as per our wayleave approvals from the JRA.

As part of the construction process, a VUMA representative will visit you to show you where a fibre box will be placed against your boundary wall. Feel free to chat to them about any questions about the project. If you are not home we will leave you a document containing a picture indicating where we plan to locate the fibre box.

Our website has been updated with more information about getting ready for VUMA Fibre. See links below.

Overall we are running a few days behind schedule on the rollout of phases 1, 2 & 3Check out the rollout schedule for updated dates.

We are still on track to have our first homes connected by the end of October. This is of course dependant on the weather or unforeseen issues cropping up. We will keep you updated in good time.

Please note we have not opened up the installation process yet. We will let you know when can order an installation.

Remember, to contact us or keep updated using the channels below:

Rollout schedule

A rollout schedule can be found here, we will update it throughout the project. We will do everything to keep to the schedule, but some factors e.g. weather is out of our hands, so the dates are subject to change.

Twitter:
We will communicate construction details (schedule updates, milestones and incidents), specific to Parkhurst using the Twitter handle @VUMA_parkhurst.  Please follow us so we can keep you informed.

Facebook:
Regular community interaction on the “I love Parkhurst” Facebook group.

Web:
This information will also be available on www.parkhurstvillage.com

Contact us directly if you want to know anything specific
parkhurst@vumatel.com  |  086 100 VUMA  |  VUMA Store, 15 4th Avenue

There will also be a VUMA project manager on-site you can talk to if you have questions or concerns.

Regards

The VUMA Team

What to expect during the construction of VUMA’s FTTH Network

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Construction of the Parkhurst Fibrehood started this week near Parkhurst Primary School. VUMA in conjunction with PRABOA would like to share some important information about our rollout process.

Building the VUMA fibre network will involve trenching and laying fibre down both sides of the sidewalk and placing a fibre box on your boundary wall.

We would like to bring to your attention that there are several other service providers working in the area (Egoli Gas, Telkom etc). VUMA’s project manager’s will be identifiable in their pink shirts and they will be based on site permanently. There will also be signage where construction is taking place.

VUMA will build the network in 3 stages
Stage 1 – The Core Ring
The backbone or core fibre is installed first. This is the green ring on the rollout map. Please see which roads will be affected in the next month. Work started this week and we aim to complete this in early October.

Stage 2 – The Access Fibre Network
Thereafter we will install each block. This will involve trenching directly on the sidewalk in front of your home and crossing your driveway. A fibre box will be placed on your boundary wall and the fibre will terminate here.

Please click here to see updates of when your block is planned. Before we start your block, a detailed planning exercise will be completed. Following construction, we will reinstate pavements and driveways to their original condition. Photos are taken before and after construction to ensure this is done properly.

We estimate construction for each block to take 10 days. A project manager will make contact with you beforehand. Please feel free to point out any underground irrigation or other cables he should be aware of. We will do everything possible to minimize disruptions to the entry and exit of your home during this period.

Stage 3 – Final installation
The final installation is a separate process that will take the fibre from the boundary wall into your home where you will connect it to your devices. We will communicate more information about how you can go about ordering your final installation. This is not part of the construction phase.
VUMA is working closely with PRABOA and will communicate with you throughout the project using the following channels:

Street Captains:
Street Captains have been assigned to each street. They will have a detailed overview of the project and will be able assist with further questions. Let us know and we’ll put you in touch with them.

Here’s how you can keep updated

Rollout schedule
A rollout schedule can be found here, we will update it throughout the project. We will do everything to keep to the schedule, but some factors e.g. weather is out of our hands, so the dates are subject to change.

Twitter
We will communicate construction details (schedule updates, milestones and incidents), specific to Parkhurst using the Twitter handle @VUMA_parkhurst. Please follow us so we can keep you informed.

Facebook
There will also be regular community interaction on the “I love Parkhurst” Facebook group.

Web
This information will also be available on www.vumatel.co.za and www.parkhurstvillage.com

Contact us directly if you want to know anything specific
parkhurst@vumatel.com | 086 100 VUMA | VUMA Store, 15 4th Avenue

There will also be a VUMA project manager on-site you can talk to if you have questions or concerns.

Regards

The VUMA Team

Vuma

FIBRE TO THE HOME ROLLOUT SCHEDULE

VUMA is another step closer to making Parkhurst the most connected suburb in South Africa! We begin construction on the 25th of August 2014, slightly ahead of schedule, and plan to finish on the 29th February 2015.

Here is our detailed roll out schedule, block for block! Click the link below and enter your address. Then click on your block. The map will show you the phase you fall into as well as your planned construction and planned delivery dates.

Please be aware that dates are indicative and subject to change. We will keep you updated, so please keep an eye out for changes.

The VUMA network is built in 3 stages:

Stage 1 - The Core Fibre Ring. This is the green ring on the map. It needs to be in place first. This is the backbone required to carry the data.

Stage 2 – The Access Fibre Network. This connects the core ring to the fibre box on your boundary wall. We will build the access network in 9 phases, 10 blocks at a time. Each phase will take 3 weeks to complete.

Stage 3 - Final installation. Once the fibre box is placed on your wall, a final installation will take the fibre from the wall box into your home. This will be done by appointment when the access network is complete.

We will keep the community informed of incidents and progress during the construction process via the social media platforms and other community media. More detailed information about the process and channels will be made available in due course.

Click here for the Roll Out Schedule

If you have further questions, you can get hold of us on parkhurst@vumatel.com or visit www.vumatel.co.za. Our store will open next week at 15 4th Avenue, Parkhurst.

PARKHURST IS THE FIRST VUMA FIBREHOOD

We are very excited that VUMATEL has confirmed that in excess of 30% of the households of Parkhurst have signed a moral commitment to instal fibre to the home.  To date 640 households are on board and Parkhurst is about to become South Africa’s most (and best) connected suburb.  Everything is on track to break ground before the end of August.  Vumatel will also be opening a shop on Fourth Ave very soon.

Read more on the Vuma Website

CCTV & THE SINGLE SECURITY PROVIDER INITIATIVE – REPORT BACK

As announced at the Parkhurst Village AGM on 13 May, PRABOA has for the last two years been working hard to identify the best way to enhance security in Parkhurst on behalf of the Community.  To this end, James Bowling has been active in the Community Policing Forum (CPF), SAPS meetings, exploring common radio frequencies amongst all security provider (and SAPS), various car guard initiatives, cameras along Fourth Avenue, Fibre to the Home (FTTH) and also Parksec on behalf of residents and representing PRABOA.  Having explored a range of potential solutions and engaged with a number of security companies and independent security specialists, the decision was made to prioritise the rollout of high quality security cameras throughout the suburb , including risk areas such as the Spruit.  The drop in prices of cameras and improvements in intelligence monitoring software have been instrumental in turning CCTV security into a viable option.  Further, this is internationally regarded as best practice and is even accepted as such by nay-sayer security companies that James Bowling has been campaigning to over the past few years.

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The Parkhurst Village Fair 26 July Verity Park

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The much-awaited annual Parkhurst Village Fair will be taking place on 26th July 2014 at Verity Park in Parkhurst.  As the latest must-attend market event in Johannesburg during the month of July, the Fair promises to be quintessentially Parkhurst and will provide a fun day out for family and friends (both two legged and four legged).

The Fair will showcase and celebrate what makes Parkhurst unique – a balance between a vibrant high street and lifestyle in a cozy and charming neighbourhood.  Celebrating the essence of what makes residents passionate about the suburb and visitors coming back to create more memories.

Village Fair

 

Click on the two images above to visit our Facebook page and to see which exciting vendors will be present on the day or visit our website www.parkhurstvillagefair.com

The next VUMATEL information meeting takes place 24 June

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We will be holding a second public information meeting for the residents of Parkhurst  about the VUMATEL fibre-to-the-home rollout on Tuesday 24 June at 18:30 at the Primary School in Fifteenth Street

Find out all about Parkhurst’s Fibre-to-the-Home initiative – how this will change your experience of electronic communications, enhance security and increase the value of your home IF you subscribe.

The executives from Vuma will be on hand to explain their process and service offering. 
We hope to see you all there!

Sign up for fibre to the home and Vumatel will connect your home as they build

Please click here to sign up. After you sign up here, Vumatel will connect your house as they build! This is not an obligation to buy, just a moral commitment to take the service. Please sign up for CCTV / single service provider for security (also moral commitment, no obligation to pay) and PRABOA membership at the same time.

Please click here for more details.

PRABOA hosted a Vumatel information session on the 11th of June, 2014 at Parkhurst Primary:

Fast, reliable internet and high definition security cameras are coming to Parkhurst!

Following a vote at the PRABOA AGM on 13 May and a competitive selection process that was finalised on the 31st of May, Vumatel has been nominated as the preferred provider to supply fibre to Parkhurst.  The adjudication committee, comprised of Parkhurst residents, reviewed 16 proposals from operators such as MTN, Vodacom, Telkom, Dark Fibre Africa, SA Digital Villages, ATEC, Liquid Telecoms, ClearlineIS, Posix and Cool Ideas. Security providers Cortac and CSS also submitted proposals.

We chose Vumatel because of their excellent technical proposal, a solid business plan that showed the project was financially viable and fully funded, a comprehensive community communications plan, and commercial terms that were very favourable to the residents.  The process was guided by resident and volunteer Ryan Hawthorne.

Vumatel’s proposal includes:

  • A once-off installation fee of R2,500 per household
  • Line speeds of between 4Mbps and 1000Mbps. The 4mbps line speed will be offered free of charge, with the next line-speed of 50Mbps charged at R499 per month. The 1Gbps option will be offered at R1,299pm.  All options have contract terms of 24 months.
  • Bandwidth can be purchased from a number of competing providers, at an estimated cost of between R2 and R10 per GB depending on usage.  Some providers may offer uncapped access.

Vumatel’s open access model is impressive.  By decoupling the line cost from the bandwidth cost, we’re ensuring that residents will have a wide choice of operators through which they can purchase bandwidth.  The 4Mbps free option will be a great option for residents on limited budgets.  Getting about 20GB of bandwidth on a 4Mbps fibre line for perhaps R150 per month is a fantastically good deal.

We are all too familiar with the poor quality of mobile and internet based communications in Parkhurst.  Until now getting 1mbps reliably has been very difficult.  The fibre rollout will change people’s perspectives on what is possible with broadband.

The fibre rollout is expected to take between 6-12 months.  PRABOA will arrange an information-sharing session with residents within the next two weeks at which the link to a high definition security camera system will be further explained.

A new entrant to the FTTH market, Vumatel is headed up by Niel Schoeman a founder of Conduct Telecommunications SA, which has built over 40 last-mile fibre solutions for business precincts in South Africa and was recently sold to Dark Fibre Africa.  Schoeman is very pleased with the result of the process.  They had been assessing Parkhurst as a pilot project for over a year.  With the community showing such great interest, they had no hesitation in bidding.  To quote Schoeman, “We look forward to working with the Parkhurst community and residents to start this grass-roots telecoms revolution.  It is time for consumers to get a better service, choice and a fairer deal.”

Keep an eye on your mail for notice of the upcoming information session.