HeroTel: We’re expanding our fibre network in Mahikeng!

Herotel is proud to announce that we are expanding our fibre network in Imperial Reserve that will deliver internet speeds of up to 200Mbps to the community. We have the best priced fibre product in South Africa available to you. Our 50Mbps True Uncapped product will cost only R499 per month.

All our packages come with a subsidised installation and a free-to-use Herotel router. You won’t have to pay any up-front fees to get connected. Our products are all offered on a month-to-month basis, there are no long-term contracts. But if you decide to leave within 12 months of being connected Herotel will claw back any subsidised installation fees.

You are probably wondering how we do it and what makes Herotel different from most other fibre operators. We are different in three ways: We build most of our fibre in the air to keep prices low, we sell directly to consumers to keep prices low and we establish a local office to keep service levels high.

In every suburb there is an allocated space between homes, typically at the back of a property, that has been reserved for critical services such as sewage, power and telecommunications. Unless there is a specifically promulgated legal restriction, our Electronic Communications Network (ECN) licence allows us to build our network here, at the back of properties on wooden poles. A single pole can in most cases provide fibre to 3-4 households, which means that typically we need just a few poles per street.

Our teams will move through the suburbs engaging directly with residents, during which time they answer any questions or concerns that homeowners might have. Our staff members are employed by Herotel and will be clearly identifiable with security tags and by the uniform and branded vehicles that they drive. Herotel will never enter a property without the homeowner’s permission.  Our Hero Fibre poles are neatly tucked away in your backyard and are rarely visible from the street unless we need to do a road crossing.

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For more information on how we build, please watch the following video.

Direct Access means that we prefer a direct relationship with our customers out of our local offices. Most fibre providers sell their services though national ISP middlemen, who manage their clients remotely from the big cities. We service our customers from the towns where we deploy our networks. Should something go wrong we can fix it immediately by deploying local teams on the ground. It also creates long-term local employment: technicians, sales staff and management.

Direct Access means that we build, sell and maintain our own networks, no middlemen required. Why pay two companies when you only need one?

We know residents have many questions, so we have captured some of the most commonly asked questions below for your perusal.

Q: Who is Herotel?

A: Herotel is a local business that was started in 2014 with the dream of connecting all South Africans to faster, more affordable internet. That vision was accelerated through a nationwide consolidation of 30 local owner-operated businesses. We united these businesses to help bring meaningful change to an industry that desperately needed a shake-up. Today, we are one of the largest fibre players in South Africa with 50 local offices all over the country.

Q: Will Herotel employ locally?

Herotel is committed to sourcing as much local labour as possible for the general civils work associated with building the feeder network, after which we will finish the project with our specialised telecommunications teams that mostly reside locally. We believe that is it very important to be close to our customers, which is why we will continue to serve the community out of our regional offices where we permanently employ local residents.

Q: Does Herotel have the necessary approvals to build fibre?

Yes, Herotel has a licence to build networks across the country and we exercise that right along with the local municipality that helps us to protect all infrastructure and maintain good order by issuing us with a wayleave.

Q: What is the first step to building a fibre network?

The first step in building a fibre network is constructing a feeder network that will connect your town to the national fibre network, which needs to be trenched into the town. A feeder network can best be described as the fibre highway that runs through the centre of town, from which we create off-ramps into the suburbs that connects homes and small businesses. The feeder network is the only aspect that we need to bury under the ground, the rest of the network is in the air.

Q: Is Herotel licensed to build and manage fibre networks? 

Herotel is a licensed telecommunications company. These licences are issued by ICASA. Herotel holds both an ECNS and an ECS licence from ICASA, which are both required in order to legally build and sell telecommunications services.

Q: Does Herotel have the right to plant a pole in any private property, wherever they want?

Yes, our ECN licence gives us the right of servitude to build the network in the mid-block in the absence of any restrictions promulgated in law. We must, and do, arrange access to these properties in a respectful manner. We will use this method to provide an affordable fibre network to your town. We consult with the homeowners to determine the optimal pole location, and poles will only be installed on an appointment basis. Herotel teams will engage with residents to arrange permission to access properties in order to plant poles.

Q: What is a pole permission? 

Although we have a licence to build the network, we require and want to access the properties respectfully, and we look for like-minded residents who will willingly give us the access to speed up the process for us to complete our network.

Q: How does Herotel go about getting these pole permissions and what community engagement is undertaken? 

The Herotel team will move through the suburbs engaging directly with residents, during which time they answer any questions or concerns that homeowners might have. Our staff members are employed by Herotel and will be clearly identifiable with security tags and by the uniform and branded vehicles that they drive. The team will also arrange information sharing days in town.

Q: What does a fibre network do to property values? 

Studies have shown that the presence of a fibre network increases property values over the long term. Access to high-speed broadband across the wider community will enable more of the citizens to enter the digital economy. The ability to run a business, entertain your family or learn from home is just around the corner. Herotel plans to assist communities to narrow the digital divide and to help your municipality deliver on the economic promises of the 4th industrial revolution (4IR).

Q: Do these poles look like the old Telkom/Eskom poles?

No, they are much smaller and can easily be hidden in your backyard in the telecommunications servitude. They are rarely visible from the street unless we need to do a road crossing.

Q: Can fibre make me sick?

No, there is no scientific evidence that fibre can make you sick. In the case of fibre, this is especially true as the data is transmitted as light signals within the fibre cable. Fibre cables do not emit radio waves.

Q: What is the difference between 5G and fibre? 

They are very different technologies in how they connect you to the internet. 5G uses radio waves for sending and receiving data, which means that it is being broadcast over a distance and then received by radios. Fibre uses light to transmit data through fibre optic cables, which means that the connectivity stays within the cable and cannot transmit or broadcast outside of it. In short, fibre directly plugs you into the internet while 5G creates a broadcast zone that you connect to over the radio spectrum.

Q: Is an aerial network the same quality as a trenched network? 

Yes, it’s the exact same fibre cables that are used for both. We just choose to build them above the ground, and not underneath it.

Q: Is there a difference between the fibre cables used under and above the ground?

No. The only difference is if we bury some of them (initial feeder network) and others we string in the air (when we build between homes). Although an aerial cable is protected differently to a buried cable, it is the same optic fibre quality and designed to last as long.

Q: Who should residents contact at Herotel if they have questions or concerns with the Pole Permission process, or if they would like to find out more about the fibre project or pricing? 

Please contact the team here for further information.

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Sourced from: HeroTel. View the original article here.