Herotel is proud to announce that it is building a world-class fibre internet network in Cambridge West with will deliver internet speeds of up to 100Mbps. Our 10Mbps True Uncapped product will cost only R499 per month and comes with a free install, free router and month-to-month contract, which makes it one of the most affordable quality fibre products in South Africa.
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There are two main reasons why Herotel are able to offer big fibre internet at small prices. The first reason is that we believe it is better to build fibre networks above the ground by planting a single pole in the telecommunications servitude between you and your neighbours. We have learned through experience that trenching (digging holes for fibre cables) can cause unforeseen damage to driveways, walls and prize-winning flower gardens. It is also a slow, expensive process that, because of the costs, end up in higher monthly subscription fees for residents.
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. It is a process used all over the world, notably by large telecommunication companies such as Verizon and British Telecoms. By building above the ground we can pass the saving back to you through a better monthly price, which is why we are sometimes up to 33% more affordable than most other fibre providers. There are also other benefits to building aerial fibre: better public participation, easier maintenance of the network and the ability to build a more inclusive network that covers more of your neigborhood.
For more information on how we build, please watch the following video.
Our Direct Access model is the other reason we are able to offer better prices. We prefer a direct relationship with our customers, while most fibre operators choose to resell their services through national ISP middlemen. Dealing with two different companies becomes quite tricky when things go wrong, especially when you have to figure out who you are supposed to call. We believe that local is lekker, which is why will service the community out of our East London office. Our Direct Access model also helps us keep our prices low because there is no middleman ISP that also needs to be paid. Why pay two companies when you only need one?
This philosophy of wanting to directly serve our customers also reflects in how we build – Herotel doesn’t allow outside contractors to build our fibre networks. We employ locally as much as we are able to. The Cambridge West fibre network will also improve access to education, entertainment and open new business opportunities in town. As a further bonus to homeowners, it has also been proven that access to fibre increases the value of properties over time.
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 national business that was started in the Western Cape 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, including Border Internet in East London. 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.
Q: Will Herotel employ locally?
Herotel is committed to sourcing at least 75% local labour for the general civils work associated with building the feeder network, after which we will finish the project with our specialised Herotel telecommunications teams that mostly reside in East London. Herotel will run the project out of its East London office where we employ a sizable local team of technicians, sales staff and managers.
Q: Does Herotel have the necessary approvals to build fibre?
Yes, Herotel has consulted with the local municipality and has permission to engage with residents around the construction of the network.
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?
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.
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: 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: What is the difference between 5G and fibre?
They are very different technologies in the way that they are able to 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 on the other hand 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: Can fibre make me sick?
No, it won’t make you sick. There is no evidence that radio waves can make you sick, but for those that are concerned, we can guarantee that fibre connectivity stays within the cable and doesn’t transmit or broadcast outside of it, which means no contact with radio waves for the fibre cables.
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 underneath it.
Q: What is ‘Air Fibre’?
You might have seen some other companies advertise ‘air fibre’ around town, and claiming to be able to give you fibre-like speeds without the need for a pole in your backyard. This typically refers to a wireless internet connection that delivers internet over radio waves, which is not comparable to having your internet connection physically plugged into the national fibre network. Wireless connection isn’t typically nearly as reliable as a fibre network. So, when you consider ‘air fibre’ just remember that the reliability of your connection will never match a pure fibre connection and that if you want a real, consistent quality connection that you need to go for the real thing.
Q: Why do we see teams digging trenches if your network will mostly be in the air?
The first step in building a fibre network is constructing a feeder network that will connect Cambridge West to the national fibre network. 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 which we need to bury under the ground, after which we can implement the rest of the network in the air.
Q: Is there a difference between the fibre cables used under and above the ground?
No, we use the same quality cables everywhere. 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).
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?
For more information please firstname.lastname@example.org.