HeroTel: Riversdale Fibre – What are the real facts?

Herotel is proud of the world-class fibre network it is building in Riversdale, and the positive impact it will have on the local community and regional economy. We appreciate that a project of this magnitude results in many questions from residents, and the potential spread of misinformation. We have developed a Q&A for residents in the hope that it clears up some of the misconceptions, and highlights the clear benefits of the Hero Fibre network.

Q: Who is Herotel? 

Herotel began its journey 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, which now all proudly fly the Herotel flag. 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 45 local offices all over the country. The Riversdale fibre project is run out of the local office on Church Street and is supported out of the regional office in George. Our teams are busy with similar fibre projects in Oudtshoorn, Robertson and Riversdale. Herotel Cloud has been servicing the greater Hessequa area for many years and is passionate about the communities they serve.

Q: Why is Herotel building an aerial fibre network? 

Herotel has chosen to build the fibre network above the ground for two reasons. The first reason is that we can offer you a lower subscription fee. Our 10Mbps True Uncapped product costs R499 per month, has a free installation and a free router. Next door in George you will pay close to R729 per month for the exact same product from other providers. So while it is true that building above the ground is less expensive, we give this value back to residents. The second reason is that we can cover more of Riversdale, including some areas that other fibre providers would not be willing to build.

Q: Why was the project temporarily paused? 

Herotel was happy to temporarily pause the project in order to collaborate further with the municipality on how we can build the network in a way that fits all future municipal infrastructure initiatives. A framework was agreed between all parties and Herotel has continued constructing the network.

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

Yes, it’s the exact same fibre cables. We just choose to build them above the ground and not under it.

Q: Is the aerial network the only reason that you can offer the best fibre prices?

No, our Direct Access model is the other reason. We choose to rather have a direct relationship with our customers, out of our local office on Church Street, as opposed to other fibre operators that resell their network through national ISP middlemen. This helps us keep prices low because there is no middleman that needs to be paid. Why pay two companies when you can pay one?

Q: Are you really local?

Yes, we already operate out of a local office in Church Street. By putting down roots, we ensure that the relationship stays honest over many, many years. The buck stops with us, and that is the way we want it.

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 road crossing.

Q: Does Herotel have the necessary approvals to build fibre in Riversdale and what process was followed?

Yes, Herotel has received full permission from the local Municipality. The Municipality has a clear process for all wayleave applications, which Herotel followed.

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

Herotel is a licensed telecommunications company. These licences are issued by ICASA (insert ICASA full name). 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?

Herotel is required to get homeowner permission in order to plant a pole on private property. In the back of each yard, down the midblock, there is a registered telecommunications servitude. We will use this same servitude to provide an affordable fibre network to your town.  Homeowners can determine where in the servitude the pole should be located, and poles will only be installed on an appointment basis.

Herotel is offering an attractive DOUBLE YOUR SPEED promotion to those homeowners that agree to host a pole in their property for the first full year that the network is live. Terms & Conditions Apply

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. These 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 these communities to narrow the digital divide and to help your municipality deliver on the economic promises of the 4th industrial revolution (4IR).

Q: Who should residents contact at Herotel Cloud 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? 

The Herotel Cloud Team can be contacted at sales@cloud.herotel.com or on 044 813 5000

Sourced from: HeroTel. View the original article here.