Residents of the Johannesburg suburb of Parkhurst have asked for proposals from telecommunications service providers to wire up homes and businesses in the upmarket area to high-speed fibre-optic broadband infrastructure.
The Parkhurst Residents and Business Owners Association (Praboa) has put out a request for proposal for fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) vendors to install a fibre network in their neighbourhood, the association said on Tuesday.
This follows an almost unanimous vote at the Praboa annual general meeting on 13 May where more than 150 residents voted in favour of the initiative, the association said.
“At the meeting, resident Ryan Hawthorne presented a recently conducted online survey, which found that 67% of residents were willing to pay R750/month or more for fibre connectivity and 77% willing are to pay R1 000 or more in installation and capital costs,” it said.
“We have already had several proposals from key telecoms players and we’re excited that Parkhurst is seen as a viable FTTH project,” said Hawthorne. “Preliminary indications are that the project will need investment of between R10m and R20m to connect up the 2 100-odd stands in the suburb.”
Initial proposals have included trenched fibre as well as aerial fibre solutions, Praboa said. Hawthorne said he is confident that Parkhurst will find a partner who sees business value in the venture. “Parkhurst has an enviable mix of a wealthy community with high residential density. It also has a strong business node along 4th Avenue and 6th Street, which is crying out for reliable broadband.”
He said that Parkhurst has suffered from “unreliable and slow ADSL due to our distance from the closest Telkom exchange”.
“What we are looking for is a reliable network operator who will be able to address the community’s needs.”
Several major operators have already indicated their willingness to take up the project, he said, but didn’t name them. “One of the proposals indicated that residents would be offered 100Mbit/s line speed for about R700/month, with data being offered as low as R2/GB from several data providers,” Hawthorne said.
“The network will allow us to support other initiatives such as a high-definition video camera security monitoring solution for the neighbourhood. For residents it’s a no-brainer, as property values will increase significantly once the network is installed.”
Praboa said the call for proposals expires on 30 May, after which it will select a preferred supplier. — © 2014 NewsCentral Media