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Power failures and other stories

The year is almost halfway done, school holidays are around the corner and techCONNECT has been busy busy busy!

We are continually tweaking our network and massive amounts of work is constantly happening behind the scenes to make sure our infrastructure remains the best in the Onderberg. The purpose of this mail is to bring you up to date on the upgrades we are performing on our network to make it world-class.

We recently upgraded our equipment on the Lebombo mountains to state–of-the-art Mimosa sectors, the same equipment that is currently being used by our clients at the Komati Dry Port. We have made the decision moving forward that we will only be installing Mimosa radios as the speed is MUCH better, ranging from 180-550 Mbps. This will future-proof our network, enabling us to offer clients 100 Mbps+ connections with fibre-like speeds.

Furthermore, the Mimosa’s have a technology called “Auto Everything” which negates the dreaded interference issues which we are always talking about. Interference happens when our competitors decide to use the same spectrum that we are using. An analogy would be similar to two radio station channels, Jacaranda FM and LM Radio trying to broadcast on the same frequency. The result is static noise which seriously messes with our signal quality and your connection speed.

We plan on methodically upgrading our entire network to Mimosa equipment. This will come at a significant cost to us, but we are willing to make the investment to ensure client satisfaction remains at a premium. We will be starting with the Pofadder tower in Marloth Park first and will keep you updated on our progress.

On the 19th of July, we implemented a new technology called Airfiber which will significantly increase the quality of your browsing experience. Movies will load quicker and generally, you should see a significant improvement on all Internet-related activities. The system monitors your “quality of experience” and proactively checks whether your connection is stable and fast. We have already made important inroads into fixing bottle-necks on our network that we were alerted to by the Airfibre system.

All of these upgrades cost money, but Nico’s and my approach has always been to invest in technologies that make our network the best and guarantees customer satisfaction above all else.

We know for a fact that our network and service is snappier and superior and our reach is far better than our competitors and we plan on keeping it that way by investing in superior technologies. We want to be the BEST!

OK, now that I’ve built this super-nice technology sandwich, it is time for the groveling to commence.

Yes, I know we have been experiencing some downtime and we’re truly sorry about it. To say that the electricity supply in Komati town is erratic would be the understatement of the year. When I see the Eskom truck pull up to the manhole across the street from our shop, I want to start hurling stones at them.

Our 5KVA UPS that used to last 4 hours now only lasts fifteen minutes. It’s a year old and due to be replaced. To make matters worse, in the middle of Eskom’s load shedding cycle, our generator belched a huge plume of black smoke and decided that life wasn’t worth living anymore. It is now being used as a very uncomfortable chair in our office until we decide what to do with it. Anyone know any good generator mechanics?

We replaced the ex-generator with Nico’s one that he had lying around at home. Our clients’ uptime is much more important than having a functioning aircon at home during a blackout. I hate the thing because you have to pull a rope to get it started, the old one worked with a key. Hey, beggars can’t be choosers (and I’ll convince Nico to start the thing because it’s his and I don’t want to break it when I apply my superior muscle power to the pully thingy to get it started).

Our shiny new UPS has arrived and we will schedule a couple of minutes of downtime to get it swapped out soon. Then we’ll have another heavy metal object to take up unwanted office space. You may have noticed that I have separation anxiety with stuff in the office since we threw Louise Thiart’s monitor away (I still get nightmares about that one).

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the rest of the year and the cooler weather. Summer is around the corner! And please remember that you can monitor the status of your tower at status.techshops.co.za. Give us a ring if you’re unsure about which one you’re on.

Warm Lowveld Greetings

Arno and the techCONNECT Team