The demand for faster internet is seeing a huge increase in the installation of fibre optic cable across Harare. This is great news for internet users but it also translates to serious upheaval along and across the city’s streets.
In the past three years, telecommunications companies including Liquid Telecom, PowerTel and Econet have dug trenches not just in Harare but countrywide for the underground cables, leaving unsightly marks on the tarred surfaces.
Public Relations Director for City of Harare, Leslie Gwindi said that council was happy with the progress that has been made by the telecom companies in making sure that Harare is connected to the world.
“We asked the telecom operators long back to make sure that they restore the tarred surfaces to their original state and we are glad that they have managed to abide by this regulation,” said Gwindi.
Marketing Manager for PowerTel, Willard Nyagwande said his company is ensuring that tarred surfaces are restored through the use of state-of-the-art equipment.
“The process is still ongoing, we are dedicated to providing super fast internet to users and after completion users can expect the availability of high speed internet always,” said Nyagwande.
Liquid Telecom, one of the companies installing the underground cables, is the first telecommunications company to deploy a cross border cutting edge transmission technology called Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) in Zimbabwe.
“With this technology up to 80 separate wavelengths or channels of data can be put on to a single optical fibre. Each wavelength has a capacity of 10Gbps to 100Gbps. Liquid Telecom now have multiples of 10Gbps capacity which ultimately provides unlimited capacity,” said Wellington Makamure, Managing Director of the company.
DWDM is the latest technology for transporting extremely large amounts of data traffic over metro or long distances in telecom networks.
In an interview with Harare News, ICT engineer at a local university Prichard Chakadenga believes that the digging process was necessary to enable the installation of the underground cables. He believes that the benefits of connectivity far outweigh the damages. “The installation of fibre optic cables in major cities has brought convenience to the business sector and community at large,” said Chakadenga.
Since the installation of the fibre optic cables, internet users can now experience video streaming, video conferencing, voice or video calls as well as bulk uploads and downloads in real-time which was not possible before.
Most residents in Harare have access to the internet through gadgets such as smart phones and computers. Many people are now using whatsapp, Twitter and Facebook for communication as they have proved to be as effective as phone calls.
In Zimbabwe, Data Control Systems was the first company to sell internet bandwidth to the public in 1994, followed by PTC in 1997. They used old technologies like radio and satellite communications which made the internet experience much slower therefore making it unpleasant for users. Fibre optic cables certainly change the online experience for the better.
Are roads being dug up near you? Are they being restored to their original condition after the cables are laid? Do you agree that the benefits of faster internet outweighs the damage to our streets?
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