Llandudno connects with fibre

At the signing ceremony this week were, front from left, Shaun Barkhuizen (SA Digital Villages); ward councillor Roberto Quintas; and LSRA chairperson Kiki Bond-Smith; and back from left, Anton Strauss (SA Digital Villages); Ben Scheepers (Dark Fibre Africa); Andrew Martin (Hout Bay Nieghbourhood Watch chairperson); Carel de Ridder (LSRA); Greg Wright (LSRA).

Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) technology is coming to Llandudno.

In a ground-breaking move aimed at providing local households with the high-speed internet connectivity, the Llandudno Special Rating Area (LSRA) this week signed an agreement with Dark Fibre Africa and SA Digital Villages to roll out the two-part Llandudno FTTH project.

The move comes after Telkom and Dark Fibre Africa laid a main fibre trunk from Constantia Nek down Valley Road and Main Road Hout Bay respectively.

LSRA representative Carel de Ridder said it was a fact that very few areas in the valley had seen FTTH trenching within whole suburbs, as had been the case elsewhere in Cape Town.

“In order to have reliable service, the trunk fibre cable must be extended all the way to Camps Bay. At a meeting on Monday (February 20) Dark Fibre Africa announced the go-ahead for just such an extension between Suikerbossie and Twelve Apostles Hotel, to be completed by end March 2017,” said Ben Scheepers, of Dark Fibre Africa.

At the same time, the company is finalising its switching exchange in Hout Bay, allowing for FTTH-based voice as well as data services to be rolled out to individual premises.

“With a main fibre line now passing Llandudno, the Llandudno SRA board took the initiative and canvassed households as to their interest in getting hooked up to the FTTH. Some 120 homes already flagged an interest, and the LSRA has entered into a FTTH agreement with SA Digital Villages to establish a cable network in to all premises in the area.

“As Llandudno does not have pavements, in-tar micro-trenching will be used, allowing rapid installation within 10 weeks, commencing April 1,” Mr De Ridder said.

The project will have two parts – bringing fiber from the main trunk cable into the area and to the boundary of every property. Phase 2 will involve individual households selecting a package, resulting in the installation of cabling to a router in their home.

SA Digital Villages’ Anton Strauss said number porting would be offered, allowing residents to retain their 790 landline number but no longer requiring a landline or ADSL service.

“Data speeds of up to 100 Mbps allows for video-on-demand services and cable television will available as an add-on.”

In addition, the agreement between LSRA and SA Digital Villages will include free fibre internet to Llandudno Primary School and the local surf lifesaving club.

The deal will also have numerous other advantages for the local community.

“Our current wireless network-based security camera network has proved to be very unstable and difficult to expand. SA Digital Villages will make 30 camera points available at various strategic points in Llandudno, for us to hook up to existing and new cameras.

“This is being done at no cost to the community. As these camera’s need to be monitored, the new high-speed fiber network will connect the cameras not only to our existing control room, but also to the Hout Bay Neighbourhood Watch control room,” Mr De Ridder said.

“In the event of a security event, real-time monitoring and play back will greatly enhance our capability.”

Andrew Martin, chairman of Hout Bay Neighbourhood Watch, said replacing the existing camera networks in Hout Bay with fiber links would be an “important improvement for crime prevention in the valley”.

He welcomed the Llandudno roll-out, saying he hoped the the rest of Hout Bay would follow soon.

Ward councillor Roberto Quintas, who attended the signing ceremony, commended the LSRA for being proactive in servicing its community’s needs.

“I also thank the providers on behalf of my colleagues at the Western Cape government, particularly education, for their generous roll-out of fibre to Llandudno Primary School free of charge,” he said.

“The roll-out will also greatly impact on the camera network for crime prevention. I’ve already allocated funds for 2017/18 for additional cameras, but more cameras are always welcome.”

Mr Quintas added it could be difficult going forward where ratepayers might be upset with interruptions on verges as trenches were dug up to lay the cable.

“The LSRA will field those complaints as well as the City, and I will be facilitating in an oversight role in that respect.”