The City of Tshwane in Pretoria has launched a website offering an automated wayleave system for telecommunications operators wanting to lay fibre-optic infrastructure in the city.
A wayleave is permission to use someone else’s property to deploy infrastructure and fibre players have long complained about how long it takes to get these permissions from metropolitan municipalities and local councils in order to build networks.
Fibre industry association and lobby group, the FTTH Council Africa, on Friday welcomed the development, saying the industry has been complaining about the “slow and cumbersome paper-based systems” used by local authority for granting wayleaves.
“This should, in theory, result in speedy processing of wayleaves and expedite the rate at which companies can deploy telecoms infrastructure,” says council CEO Juanita Clark. “It should take an enormous load off the internal resources of the City of Tshwane, while at the same time ensuring efficiency for the private sector.”
Clark says the increase in productivity that should result “should eliminate many of the frustrations felt by operators”.
“In the past, there was no set guideline for the issuing of right-of-way approvals and timescales vary from one application to the next,” she says. “This has had a big financial implication on the private sector as it is difficult to plan projects or even deliver projects on time.
“We have been lobbying for automation of the process as we believe that it is the only way to ensure efficiencies and remove unnecessary red tape. All indications are that with this system an approval will be granted within two weeks.”
She says she hopes other metros see the benefits of Tshwane’s approach and implemented automated systems of their own.
The wayleave management system is available on the Tshwane government website. — (c) 2013 NewsCentral Media