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Community News - there are 6 news items to read

29 Jun 2017 ISPs are now open to requests for fibre services at Mutual Heights

A range of Internet Service Providers are now open to requests for FIBRE services at Mutual Heights

Pamphlets with information about the fibre services are now being distributed around the building but you may be away and you may want to see a simple range of service offerings. The information provided to us in NOVEMBER 2016 can be seen here.

You are advised to approach the ISPprovider(s) of your choice DIRECTLY for up-to-date information, and for details of installation charges and any special get-you-started offers that they may have.



26 Jun 2017 Details of your options and instructions for fibre connection are now coming

Octotel are now distributing details of your options in terms of the ISPs that you can choose to use.

Watch out for details in your mail box, and on the web site.  And remember that if you want DSTV over the fibre backbone that will involve an additional box to unravel and feed the signal into your decoder.  More information here as soon as it is available, but there is some information on the Octotel web site



31 May 2017 Yes, we are still waiting for the FIbre installation to be completed

Despite our earlier hope that the fibre installation would just take a few weeks, the connection with the main fibre link outside is taking more time than expected.

As soon as we have clear information about how to get connected, and when, we will let you know. Our apologies for the delay.



30 Jan 2017 The fibre project is now ON

Following careful consideration of the way to get the fibre into the building, the installation will start imminently. For most apartments, your fibre connection will be terminated in or near the geyser cupboard.

We considered a number of other options: the building already has network cabling to every apartment and it might have been possible to use the old cables to pull the new fibre through the conduits; alternatively, it might have been possible to bring the fibre to the boxes where the cables are connected, to use the final length of cable as the 'last few metres' of connection. That would have brought the fibre to your existing network connection point.

By bringing the fibre all the way to your sections things are simplified. There will be no disruption to residents using the existing network and where the routing goes from there is up to you.

As previously advised, the fibre installation from Octotel provides you with a choice of more than 12 internet service providers - names you will already recognise (Mweb, RSAWeb, WebAfrica, Afrihost and Vox Telecom (just to mention a few). There may be an additional once-off charge based on the arrangements with the ISP to install all the way through to your new router.

More details will follow soon.

And don't forget, there is a DSTV option coming, as well ... !



28 Jan 2017 A new web site for Mutual Heights (and fibre installation for data access)

The new Mutual Heights web is going live as this news item is being written, and the fibre installation will commence very soon. This news item gives you some details on the fibre services.

Last year we ran a survey to elicit opinion on what is needed in our web site, and whether we would not be better off if we just used Facebook. By my quick count, there were 20 in favour of a custom web site and only 7 in favour of using Facebook. Given the concern for additional information and the need to tighten up on the recording of who is actually living in the building, it was decided to develop a database-driven web site. What you are reading now is presented in this way. You are not reading a news item, you are reading a stream of data from a database. In parallel, just behind our own interest in gaining fibre access to the internet, the local industry has swung into motion and we are imminently beginning that installation. As reported in Newsletter 38, the essential 'short' story is: There is no cost to the Body Corporate or owners for the installation of the fibre infrastructure. There is a choice of more than 12 Internet Service Providers (MWeb, RSAWeb, WebAfrica and so on), on 12-month contracts (at no installation cost in some cases) or on monthly contracts (with a variable cost for the actual connection and for a new router). You will need to review the details and decide about your choices. There is no cost to the Body Corporate or owners for the installation of the fibre infrastructure; usage will incur charges to users in a similar way to ADSL services.

- There is a choice of more than 12 Internet Service Providers (MWeb, RSAWeb, WebAfrica and so on), on 12-month contracts (at no installation cost in some cases) or on monthly contracts (with a variable cost for the actual connection and for a new router). You will need to review the details and decide about your choices.
- If you just want Internet access, then the service will be delivered to your existing network access point in your apartment (not over your telephone line, as might be the case if you have a Telkom ADSL service).
- If you want the additional DSTV service (the one that needs FOUR co-axial cables!) then the fibre will be brought directly to your section, and a DSTV connection box as well as a router will be provided. This will also be at a reasonable cost.

This fibre installation promises data access at costs comparable to ADSL, but five to ten times faster and more reliable, without 'shaping' or 'throttling'. This is what was asked for in our survey earlier in the year. If you just want Internet access, then the service will be delivered to your existing network access point in your apartment (not over your telephone line, as might be the case if you have a Telkom ADSL service).

If you want the additional DSTV service (the one that needs FOUR co-axial cables!) then the fibre will be brought directly to your section, and a DSTV connection box as well as a router will be provided. This will also be at a reasonable cost.



10 Jan 2017 It\\\'s going to be a hot summer - but winter is on the way

You may have forgotten that we still have to commence the external damp proofing work that is needed on the walls, the windows, and elsewhere on the building. Last year I reported that we were waiting for Heritage Western Cape approval - we are still waiting.

Here is an update: I wrote to our HWC contact, explaining that that it is now at least three months since we were advised that approval for remedial works on the Mutual Building would take just two or three weeks. I explained that we are now deeply concerned about the delays. What we are seeking permission to do is the re-sealing of the joints between the granite blocks on the exterior and the re-sealing of the window-granite junctions. In this process we have consulted widely with qualified experts in all disciplines, to ensure that what we intend to do is the best possible solution to the problem, given all the constraints. (This was all done in parallel with the extended legal that ? happily ? got us to the High Court in November 2015 and led to a settlement with Old Mutual). We had fully expected to have completed much if not most of the work by now. Because of the delay in gaining heritage approval, the schedule of work is now compromised and will certainly lead to additional (and otherwise avoidable) damage to the building when winter returns. There is no way that the work can be completed by April-May.



Last updated: 1 August 2017
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