The fibre operator said it will work with “participating Internet service providers” to upgrade line speeds from 1 April to 31 May to “enable seamless remote working, additional streaming and educational services”.
Effectively, all existing customers will move up by one line speed (other than the 1Gbit/s customers as there is currently no higher line speed available). This means, for example, that customers on a 10Mbit/s plan will see their line speed boosted to 20Mbit/s. Those on 100Mbit/s plans will see their speeds go up to 200Mbit/s.
It’s not yet clear, though, if customers on 200Mbit/s plans will be shifted up to 1Gbit/s. “Vuma is in consultation with the ISPs on this, as there is some concern that routers out in the market might not be able to cope with 1Gbit/s.”
“We have a responsibility to make it easier for people to stay connected as they navigate the next few weeks of working and learning from home,” said Vumatel chief commercial officer Simon Butler in a statement.
The company said it has been in consultation with a number of its ISP partners to discuss the initiative and many of those that have the capacity to do so will participate. Vumatel did not name which ISPs had agreed to take part.
“Our ISPs are a critical enabler of this initiative and we believe that in our own small way we are collectively helping to make remote working and online learning an easier process for many,” said Butler.
For new customers that are in the process of installing fibre, the company will waive its monthly line rental over the next two months together with participating ISPs.
Meanwhile, another home fibre provider, Link Africa, said on Friday that it is also working with ISPs to double subscribers’ bandwidth at no additional cost.
“For example, if their current package is for 50GB, they will be able to get 100GB and still only pay their current package price,” the company said. “This deal works for all home fibre clients on the Link Africa network, regardless of their package size or area. This initiative is designed to ease the burden until 17 July and to help South Africans stay connected. We all need more bandwidth in our homes during social distancing.” — (c) 2020 NewsCentral Media