Summerstrand in Nelson Mandela Bay has become one of the first areas in the Eastern Cape to get fibre internet infrastructure installed using an innovative process called micro-trenching.

The Nelson Mandela Bay council provided permission to MetroFibre Networx to install fibre infrastructure via micro-trenching in Summerstrand on a proof-of-concept basis in May 2019. The results have been a much faster, cleaner and less disruptive process for residents and the metro alike.

Micro-trenching is both less invasive and much quicker. Deployment time is reduced by 60% to 80% in comparison with traditional hand trenching methods. There is also much less chance of consequential damage to any surrounding infrastructure, which can prove problematic for local councils and residents,” explains Henry Wilkens from MetroFibre Networx.

MetroFibre Networx is a pioneer in the installation of fibre networks utilising micro-trenching in the South African market.

Micro-trenching is done by specialised machines and trained operators who cut a narrow and shallow trench into the road surface, right alongside the pavement where the curb and the tarmac meet.

A micro-trench is typically 30mm to 50mm wide and can be up to 400mm deep, although usually about 200mm for fibre purposes. The fibre conduit and cable are then placed in this micro-trench and the area is then backfilled and sealed with a specialised trench grout which restores the road back to its original surface.

MetroFibre completed the micro-trenching process in Summerstrand covering a 5km area in under two weeks – from the very first cut to installing and completing the entire installation of the fibre infrastructure to the closing and restoring of the road surfaces.