TelOne and Liquid Battle In New Marlborough, FTTH Project

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As Fibre To The Home (FTTH) project heats up, TelOne and Liquid have invaded New Marlborough suburbs in the laying down of fibre cables. The two giants in the provision of internet are fighting for clients and visibility in the area as they are laying fibre cables just few metres across each other.

By Tongai Mwenje
The need to establish lines of connectivity and last mile via fibre has just been escalated by these Internet Access Providers (IAP), as sharing of infrastructure is now evidently now impossible, we are likely to get a dog eat scenario as they woo clients to their ay.

Last week, on my way from work in the evening I realized that there was a change right in front of my gate, I paused for a little while to take a glimpse of what was transpiring, what caught my eyes was a heap of soil.

At first, I thought City Council was in the area to correct some water woes that have heated our area and I was half-delighted that our problems will soon become a thing of the past.

I realized that it’s totally something else as there was no following in the water pipes at all, rather it was Fibre To The Home project, but who was behind the project I didn’t know and I had to carry out my investigations in order to answer my burning questions.

The following morning caught me with surprise as I was greeted with overalled guys busy digging trenches for the fibre installations, but what confused me was the different apparels these guys were putting on yet where working in the same vicinity, and not only that but some few metres across each other.

I inquired with one of the guys in the opposite side he said, “This is a Liquid project but we have been subcontracted to carry out this project,” before he finished, I interjected and asked why they were putting on different working suits yet were under one company.

“We are working from this end while TelOne is on the opposite side , we started recently but TelOne came a little bit earlier than us but we are happy that we are pushing and believe you me very soon will be done with New Marlborough, as evidenced by the pace you are witnessing.” This came as good news to me as I am one person who delights in high internet speeds.

The need for internet connectivity is increasing rapidly and the Internet Providers (IPs) are responding so well to the dynamism of technology. This is a welcome move as most residents appreciated the work being done by TelOne and Liquid.

The need for internet connectivity is increasing rapidly and the Internet Providers (IPs) are responding so well to the dynamism of technology. This is a welcome move as most residents appreciated the work being done by TelOne and Liquid.

Speaking to one of my neighbours employed with ZESA he had this to say, ‘This is recommendable, and we are happy that internet has been brought to our home and with this fibre, its faster and convenient especially in this era infested with high tech gadgets such as cellphones, tablets and laptops we really need a connectivity which is faster to conduct our day to day online business and social communication.’

Yes Fibre to the Home (FTTH) is spreading all over the place, IPs are responding so well and effectively to our technological needs, but our main concern is on charges. Who provides better rates than others have become a topical issue of concern?

It’s not that people are not responding to technology, but it’s all because of the charges that come with technology that tend to scare away people from technology.

In Kenya connectivity is everywhere and the beauty of that is, it comes for free, why can’t we have the same here in Zimbabwe or just providing affordable rates from a street man right to the elite. In most countries internet connectivity is a choice because of its affordability whereas in Zimbabwe it’s a different scenario, it cost you an arm and a leg to get connected.

This year I attended SATA conference which was hosted by TelOne at Rainbow Towers in Harare and internet charges or rates where among highly debated topics. Why not sharing the infrastructure to reduce costs both on Internet Providers part and the consumer part?

Imagine TelOne and Liquid competing for same number of clients, laying up so much resources in one place rather than one company laying up and sharing the costs with the other, than both laying same infrastructure for the same purpose, same area, same number of people, that’s wasting resources.

I believe sharing infrastructure is more economic than trying to congest same equipment in the name of ‘We Did It’ without conceding the plight of the consumers. In this highly competitive society in terms of internet connectivity, value added services gains you more traffic than any other service, and how do you do that, you provide affordable services across all your clients.

I am sure one day these IPs will join hands and fight for the same cause with one voice and infrastructure, all in the name of providing cutting costs to enable them to provide cheaper services to their multitudes of clients.

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