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The City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee today, 24 November 2016, recommended that Council authorise the commencement of a public participation process to assess the public’s support for Fibrehoods to mount its fibre-optic cables on the low-voltage electricity reticulation poles for telecommunication purposes. Read more below:

If approved by Council, a public participation process will commence regarding Fibrehoods, an electronic communications licence-holder, being granted the rights to install their fibre-optic cabling on the City’s low-voltage electricity poles.

‘As a smart city that embraces innovative technologies, the City of Cape Town is working with many internet service providers to extend the availability of good telecommunications infrastructure throughout the metro. These efforts are supported through our own fibre investment which makes backhaul opportunities available to the private sector,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Corporate Services and Compliance, Councillor Xanthea Limberg.

The City and Fibrehoods have been in negotiations, resulting in the parties agreeing to the proposed terms and conditions of a draft agreement. This agreement may be entered into subject to Council agreeing to grant Fibrehoods the right to use municipal infrastructure.The draft agreement protects the City’s rights and powers as the electricity reticulation governing authority and ensures that the City is indemnified in the event of Fibrehoods’ cabling being damaged or claims arising by third parties. It also provides for a market-related remuneration to be paid by Fibrehoods to the City for the proposed right.

The proposed public engagement period is a mandatory process as dictated by national legislation, i.e. the Municipal Asset Transfer Regulations, which stipulates that the City needs to obtain input from all possible stakeholders prior to allocating an exclusive right to a single party to make use of public assets.

The granting of this right to Fibrehoods is a significant property right, as it will be for a period longer than three years and will be worth more than R10 million.

‘Should this recommendation be approved by Council, it will have far reaching benefits not only for the City, but more importantly for our residents and businesses. The City will benefit financially by way of a market-related income. The granting of the long-term rights will contribute to the accelerated roll-out of telecommunications infrastructure that is essential for economic development in Cape Town. The access to associated infrastructure will not only address the availability and the speed of existing services, but will also help to reduce the cost of telecommunication services in Cape Town,’ said Councillor Limberg.

Last year the City granted Link Africa (an electronic communications network systems licence-holder), the right to install their fibre-optic cables in the City’s stormwater and sewer pipes.

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