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FTTH comes to Sunninghill

Residents of Sunninghill in Johannesburg have selected Metrofibre Networx as the preferred fibre supplier for the area.

Working with the local Sunninghill ratepayers association, Metrofibre was selected as the area’s preferred FTTH supplier, enabling residents access to high-speed fibre and data services right to the home. The first estate in Sunninghill went live in June 2015, subsequently a further six have been completed, with 14 more to follow suit, and further construction happening in excess of 10 additional estates.

All in all, the over 6000 residential properties within the area will all be able to tap into the Metrofibre fibre network by the middle of 2016. As a consequence of the agreement reached with Sunninghill, the company has also extended network access to include Barbeque Downs.

“Until recently high-speed data has been an expensive luxury only afforded to a select few who could shoulder the costs of uncapped DSL and LTE services, but fibre changes all of this,” states Jacques de Villiers  at Metrofibre Networx. “With fibre consumers and businesses can now ensure that their browsing is never slowed down, making services such as live streaming television, music and even gaming a qualified option for South African customers. It is fast and cost effective – truly levelling the Internet connectivity playing fields for local businesses and consumers.”

Working hand in glove with the Sunninghill Ratepayers Association, Metrofibre will also be providing fibre access for the security cameras in Sunninghill , at no cost to the residents.

“After extensive research into the various FTTH suppliers in a process that extended almost a year, we at the Sunninghill Community Ratepayers Association elected to appoint Metrofibre Networx as our preferred supplier of fibre to homes and businesses within the Sunninghill area,” states Linda Gildenhuys, chairman of the Sunninghill Ratepayers Association.

Of the reasons initially listed by the selection team as to why they selected Metrofibre as their partner included the fact that when dealing with the company they were provided with a single point of contact to address questions and assist with service delivery. The company’s ability to deliver symmetrical broadband speeds, as well as uncapped and unshaped Internet, and the fact that its network had stood the test of independent user testing and came out with flying colours, also ranked highly on the selection criteria.

Another attractive offering to customers who elect to make use of Metrofibre for their fibre needs in the area is that the company does not hold the association to any contract terms. In fact, once the network is installed, individual customers can freely contact Metrofibre of their own accord at any stage.

The project encompasses two forms of fibre, namely trenched fibre, which is fibre that is laid underground, and aerial fibre for already established and built up areas where trenching could pose a problem. To this end the company recently ran a highly successful aerial project in the Glenferness area, proving the robustness and accessibility of its aerial offering.

According to de Villiers, this ensures that customers are afforded the option to select what they prefer with as little disruption to the existing environment as possible.

Established in 2010, Metrofibre owns and manages South Africa’s first globally compliant Carrier Ethernet 2.0 (CE 2.0) open access fibre network and connects in excess of 60 cloud, application, voice and Internet service providers with their customers. Its network has been built in line with the highest global standards, making use of only superior networking products, providing customers with a carrier class open access fibre network that offers ultra-high speed and low latency connections.

New estates and new businesses in the area are urged to contact Metrofibre , while they are in the development phase of the project should they wish to elect to partner with the company on their fibre needs.

“The quality of our network speaks for itself. Our customers who are residents in these areas, and sign up for access to the Metrofibre network, can now leverage key benefits such as symmetrical broadband speeds as well as real open access where customers can either make use of Metrofibre or a service provider of their choice to access the network. Fibre is, and will, continue to change how businesses and consumers the world over connect with each other,” ends de Villiers.

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Mobile is the new branch

Standard Bank has launched an account for mobile devices that gives back 500MB of data a month

Standard Bank has introducd a R4.95p/m bank account called MyMo that customers can open on their mobile devices, loaded with data and airtime offerings and other benefits such as virtual and Gold physical card.

MyMo account holders will also enjoy the convenience of a cheque account through a Visa and Mastercard gold card. Once the account is open, users can choose to either receive R50 in airtime or 500MB of data a month, if their card is swiped more than four times a month. A further megabyte of data is loaded on the account for every R20 spent.

“MyMo is an account for everyone, whether you just landed your first job or have been around the block. With no documentation required it only takes a few minutes to open the account,” says Funeka Montjane, Chief Executive for Personal and Business Banking, South Africa, at Standard Bank Group. “For just R4.95 a month customer will be able to enjoy free swipes and ATM withdrawals at only R6.50 for amounts under R 1 000.

“Mobile is the new branch. This account is about bringing the mobile branch into customers hands, it is about convenience and security while banking.”

She says mobile offers low cost transactional banking which integrates people and businesses into the new connected economy, making mobile the new branch ecosystem that will drive and connect Africa’s growth. Physical connections to the economy are rapidly changing to digital where banks have to move from being financial institutions to service organisations.

“In the past people congregated in communities and eventually cities to maximise the advantages of connectivity. Today a simple hand-held device has the potential to open infinite doors, transforming individuals’ access to opportunities, regardless of where they are, and like never before in history. 

“Historically, a bank account represented access to economic citizenship. Today, having a simple device enabling digital access to a modern banking platform is a passport to global connectivity and vast human development potential.”

The bank says it is using technology, and mobile phones in particular, to deliver low-cost transactional channels accessible to all our customers. The evolution in mobile can be seen in transaction options like cash back at the retail checkout till rather than the ATM, free digital banking rather than using a branch, and the ability to transact using digital wallets, even without a bank account.

“Developing comprehensive connected ecosystems requires a mind-set change from Africa’s banks,” says Montjane. “Banks will evolve away from traditional financial service organisations, into service ecosystems enabling broad universal access to almost everything like enhanced purchasing experiences of vehicles and homes, online procurement of goods and services and lifestyle elements like rewards and travel. 

“These connectivity drivers will also act to future-proof evolving connectivity ecosystem by allowing us to offer untold future services while deriving income from as yet unrealised revenue streams,.   

From a customer perspective, the kind of ecosystems of knowledge, access and, ultimately, connectivity that banks will come to provide will radically transform the share of life that almost all individuals will be able to access.”

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Two-thirds of SA staff hide social media from bosses

With 90% of people in employment going online several times a day, it can be hard for most workers to keep their private and work-life separate during the working day (and beyond). The recently published Global Privacy Report from Kaspersky Lab reveals that 64% of South African consumers choose to hide social media activity from their boss. This secretive stance at work also extends to their colleagues, with 60% of South Africans also preferring not to reveal online activities to their co-workers.

Globally, the average employee spends an astonishing 13 years and two months at work during their lifetime. Interestingly though, not all this time is directly related to solving work tasks or earning a promotion: almost two thirds (64%) of consumers admit visiting non-work-related websites every day from their desk.

Not surprisingly, 35% of South African employees are against their employer knowing which websites they visit. However, more interestingly, 60% of South African are even against their colleagues knowing about their online activities. This probably means that colleagues constitute an even greater threat to future perspectives of an office slouch or maybe the relationships with colleagues are more informal and therefore, more valuable.

On the contrary, social media activity appears to be a less private domain for many and therefore, more suitable for sharing with colleagues but not the boss. This is probably because workers fear harming the public image of a company or interest in decreased staff productivity motivates companies to monitor employees’ social networks and make career changing decisions based on that. Such policies have led to 64% of South Africans saying that they don’t want to reveal their social media activities to their boss and 53% even don’t want to disclose this information to their colleagues.

A further 29% are against showing the content of their messages and emails to their employer. In addition, 3% even said that their career was irrevocably damaged as a consequence of their personal information being leaked. Thus, people are worried about how to build a favourable internal reputation and how not to destroy existing workplace relationships.

“As going online is an integral part of our life nowadays, lines continue to blur between our digital existence at work and at home. And that’s neither good nor bad. That’s how we live in the digital age. Just keep remembering that as an employee you need to be increasingly cautious of what exactly you post on social media feeds or what websites you prefer using at work. One misconceived action on the internet could have an irrevocable long-term impact on even the most ambitious worker’s ability to climb the career ladder of their choice in the future,” comments Marina Titova, Head of Consumer Product Marketing at Kaspersky Lab.

To ensure workers don’t fall prey of the internet threats at a work, there are some core guidelines to adhere to in the digital age:

  • Don’t post anything that could be considered defamatory, obscene, proprietary or libellous. If in doubt, don’t post.
  • Be aware that system administrators may at least, in theory, be informed about your web browsing patterns.
  • Don’t harass, threaten, discriminate or disparage against any colleague, partner, competitor or customer. Neither on social networks or in messages, emails, nor by any other means.
  • Don’t post photographs of other employees, customers, vendors, suppliers or company products without prior written permission.
  • Start using Kaspersky Password Manager to ensure your social media and other personal accounts are not at risk of unauthorised access by someone else in an office. Install a reliable security solution such as Kaspersky Security Cloud to protect your personal devices.

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