Vumatel extends network to Polokwane

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Vumatel has extended its fibre network reach to Polokwane, promising residents stable Internet access with fast speeds.

The fibre network operator is one the major telco companies snaking their way through the conduits of the South African landscape to provide Internet access, and says its services are now available in Bendor, Welgelegen, Fauna Park, Flora Park and Sterpark.

Vumatel CCO Simon Butler says the company’s fibre infrastructure has already been completed in several areas in Polokwane.

The expansion by Vumatel is taking place at a time SA is still under COVID-19-induced lockdown, which has forced most people to work from home, throttling broadband services due to high demand across the country.

“Fibre gives South African families who are staying indoors access to the world outside of their walls,” says Butler. “More people are logging in to YouTube and streaming sites to watch the latest news around the current pandemic. Working parents, entrepreneurs and students learning from home are turning to digital platforms and online resources to ensure they stay on top of their individual responsibilities.

“While Internet service providers (ISPs) in South Africa have reported an increase in demand in terms of the number of Internet users on the networks, home fibre connections are more than capable of ensuring a continuance of high data speeds for this increase.

“Our network supports speeds of up to one gigabyte per second, and this will see us well into the next couple of years in terms of increase in demand of bandwidth.”

Vumatel also recently announced it would boost line speeds free of charge for all of its existing and future customers until the end of June in response to the high demand for fast, reliable internet.

The company, together with its ISP partners, promised to move customers’ line speeds up by one (except those with a 1GBps line as there is no higher line speed currently available).

Butler says: “The driving force of Vumatel as a business has always been centred by our mantra ‘if we can, we must’ attitude. As an essential service provider, we see it as our duty and responsibility to ensure the country’s entrepreneurs, working professionals, learners and families stay connected as they navigate the next weeks from home.”

The fibre network operator last month also suspended all wholesale price increases that were initially communicated to its clients.

Vumatel had faced criticism from some quarters after it emerged the company had notified its clients, ISPs, of price increases effective as from 1 April.

Responding to the concerns, Vumatel said it had engaged with its ISP stakeholders at the end of 2019, “to advise a nominal price increase on a number of line speeds, with a decrease anticipated on higher line speeds. These would have come into effect on 1 April 2020.”

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