Monday, June 17

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Q&A with Handy Mac: Can you avoid the destruction of a pavement when installing fibre

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Pamela has concerns about fibre

Q: We have applied for a fibre optic connection for the internet and wondered how the cabling gets from the pavement connection to my router without messing up my paving, walls or other permanent building structures within my property. I have seen the destruction of pavements in Cape Town with much disgust – there has been disrespect for property, municipal and private.

A: I agree the damage done in the laying of the main cables is not pretty and the suppliers of this service must beware as they approach the MacAlister household. I was trying to work out the cost of laying what must so far be a horrendous amount of cable in this country. Hopefully, at the end of the day, our lives will be accelerated and the cost of staying in touch with the rest of the world will decrease.

Time alone will tell. As fibre shows no signs of reaching our neighbourhood yet, I have not delved too far into the next stage, so we called a friend of Mrs Mac who already has fibre.

It would appear it is not a complicated process, but is obviously governed by how close your house is to the pavement. In basic terms, it is a piece of wire in a normal electrical conduit.

One would assume you will have a choice about where your feed will leave the pavement. This means you need to make sure it is in an area of soft ground amenable to the digging of a small trench to bury the conduit.

At some stage the conduit will then become visible on your walls as it goes up towards an entry point into your home, unless you want to start cutting chases to hide it. Those of us with older houses are now resigned to the fact that to cope with all the changes to our lifestyles, we are happy with exposed conduits that can always be painted to match.

Obviously if you are busy with a new-build, take this into account. I believe you are allowed so many metres of free cabling and then you have to pay if your wiring needs to be longer. I would rather pay extra to run the cable in easier areas than have to rip up brick paving or other finishes.

*Handy Mac, aka Don MacAlister, is our expert on household DIY issues. If you have a question for him, please send it to or SMS only to 082 446 3859. Find Don on FB: Like us on Facebook



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