Ever had your karma corrupted by slow and unreliable internet connections? Well, you’re not alone. Some months ago local businessman Tony Fishlock, of online safari company ATR Safari had had enough of his business suffering because of internet irritations. He set about to find out how to get fast and reliable internet access in the village via fibre-optic cable. (Currently the closest place with fibre-optic connectivity is Val de Vie Estate.)
Fibre optic cables have many advantages. Perhaps most importantly, as they use light rather than electricity to carry signals, they are superfast allowing users to send and receive large volumes of data, quickly and securely. Fibre further allows users to make the most efficient use of cloud services while also easily supporting growing data volumes without compromising on performance. The cables are also not susceptible to electrical shorts and are less vulnerable to theft because they contain no copper.
Many of the technical and planning issues around bringing fibre to Franschhoek have already been addressed while work is continuing on the business model that will support the roll-out. Everybody involved is however optimistic that 2018 will be the year that fibre reaches Franschhoek.
Fibre supplier, SA Digital Villages, has already applied for wayleaves from Stellenbosch Municipality to ‘fibre up’ Franschhoek and have appointed a contractor to design the low level network for every home. A Wi-Fi solution to service visitors in the main road has also been designed. As a possible phase 2 an aerial fibre solution for farmers is also being investigated.
The cost of the ‘fibre to the home’ network will be carried by SA Digital Villages, who are in talks with Dark Fibre Africa to construct the so-called ‘backhaul’ connectivity to Franschhoek.
Anybody that is interested in the fibre roll-out or wishes to get involved can contact Ruth McCourt on firstname.lastname@example.org or 083 390 2891 for further information.