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Load shedding is currently being implemented by Eskom across South Africa, and could continue well in April this year. The frequency of load-shedding varies according to the severity set by Eskom. Although there are some schedules in place, the reality is that load-shedding can happen at any time :(
When load-shedding occurs, thousands of Fibre clients lose their connection. When the power is restored, the equipment at the client premises have to establish a connection with the Vuma network in order get Internet access again. This means that their router and CPE device (the little white box mounted to the wall) must log into the VUMA system again. However, when thousands of clients try to reconnect at the same time, they may experience a substantial delay as part of the systems that govern the network become inundated. Think of it like thousands of people trying to enter a store on Black Friday - something is bound to break :-(
VUMA are working tirelessly to try to find ways around this due to the continuous load-shedding imposed by Eskom. We are confident that they will find a solution, and that affected clients will start seeing an improved experience as they work on this.
VUMA’s network is also backed up by generators and UPS batteries that keep the network up during load shedding. This means that if you have an alternate means of power (like a generator), your connection may not be affected. Unfortunately, there may be a scenario in which some parts of the network may be affected by the power outages (if the batteries or generators fail), in which case, you could lose access to the Internet. The efficacy of the backup is determined by the size of the batteries, but can also be affected by external factors such as vandalism and theft, as well as frequency load-shedding (which does not allow sufficient time for recharging).
We all know generators are expensive though. Another solution might be a small UPS device. A 1000VA can easily power your CPE device and your WiFi router for the standard 4 hour load-shedding period. You should also be able to charge your mobile device to stay connected. These devices are available at major stores and online retailers for very reasonable prices.
This will allow you to stay connected during load-shedding, as well as avoiding the rush to re-connect when the power comes back on.
It’s also a great idea to invest in a surge protector. The power surge that occurs when the power comes back can severely damage your CPE and router (as well as devices like your TV, computer or tablet). Using a surge protector will ensure your devices are safe.
After your load shedding cycle has ended and your power has been restored, you may need to allow up to 2-3 hours for VUMA to get everyone back online. We expect that this time will also decrease as VUMA find ways to minimize the impact of load-shedding on users.
If you are still unable to connect once this time has elapsed (and you’ve tried rebooting your CPE device and router), you could try resetting your router to factory default settings. Please note that this will reset your WIFI network settings and any other custom settings you may have applied to your router. We advise you only do this if you believe the router may have been affected by the power outage. Resetting the router can usually be done by pressing the reset button on the back or the bottom of the router.