3 firms are looking to lay fiber optic lines in Byo

BULAWAYO CITY COUNCIL

BY SILAS NKALA
THREE companies have applied for permission from the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) to install underground and overhead fiber optic lines throughout the city.

The three companies are Bandwidth and Cloud Services Group, Dande Mutande and DFA Open Access Network.

“Applications were received from the three companies seeking to be licensed service providers to dig and lay fiber optic underground as well as place fiber optic lines throughout the city,” the BCC minutes read.

“These companies have offered to place this infrastructure within existing easements and also request new easements if necessary. They said they would share existing infrastructure where such infrastructure had already been installed.

“Where the existing lines did not have the capacity to accommodate their service or where it was not possible to share them, they will dig parallel to the existing lines and install their optical fiber. They wanted to install overhead lines using existing infrastructure and where it did not exist, place the necessary infrastructure,” the minutes add.

The council said some of the institutions that would benefit from fiber optics include mobile telecommunications companies, internet users such as government, BCC, educational institutions and other players.

The local authority said the project would be carried out in consultation with the Zimbabwe Post and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority. While welcoming the developments, however, BCC was concerned that previous trenching in the city by fiber network companies had resulted in infrastructure damage.

“Roads have been damaged, traffic jams and pollution have been observed during the trenching process, accessibility to some localities has been restricted during trenching and accidental cuts in cables and damage to pipelines. water were found during this process. Invasion of personal space and long-term damage to roads have also been recorded,” BCC said. Because of this council has since adopted measures to mitigate the negative impacts of trenching by network developers.

“Companies will be asked to use conduits wherever they are (on site) and to install conduits where there are no conduits whenever they cross a road so that these can be used by other service providers also to avoid further damage to our weathered roads” the minutes indicated.

The trenching companies also had to fully rehabilitate the roads after the trenches. The minutes also pointed out that Bulawayo did not have the capacity to accommodate the services of the three companies.

“The land on which the companies lay their optical fiber must be leased to the respective company at a rent to be determined by the city assessor and the property manager according to the total area covered by this infrastructure”, BCC
added.

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