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.
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
|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