Fibre Internet connections are becoming more popular in South Africa, with many users migrating from ADSL to this faster connection. The biggest advantage that fibre packages have when compared to ADSL are the increased connection speeds that allow users to stream Netflix and other pay-to-view channels. Here is how fibre optics work in South Africa and what we can expect from the future of fibre technology.
How fibre optics work in South Africa
Fibre is not new in South Africa, having been around for almost 10 years, however the availability of fibre and the cost of it has slowed its penetration. In 2016 only 10% of homes were using fibre optic technology. The South African government’s goal is to have fibre installed across the country by 2020.
If you are living in South Africa and would like to have fibre, you first need to see if your city has rolled out fibre in the suburb in which you are living. Currently the top two cities with the most fibre coverage are Johannesburg and Cape Town. If fibre is available in your suburb, you can then choose to connect to it using one of the many fibre Internet service providers available.
The advantages of optical fibre
For many people the Internet is no longer a ‘nice to have’ but a necessity like electricity and water. The fast connectivity that fibre offers is the foundation for the development of a smart city. Optic fibre provides a high-speed bandwidth to provide you with a seamless Internet experience and offers speeds of up to 200Mbps.
Unlike the copper telephone wires that are used for ADSL, fibre-optic cables are made of glass-like materials that transmit light impulses, which mean that more data can be transmitted at much quicker speeds. For businesses a superior fibre connection allows people to work more efficiently and improves productivity.
Capped or uncapped fibre connection
Fibre providers will often offer capped or uncapped services. Capped services offer you a limited quantity of data. After the data has reached its limit or ‘cap’ you will have no more data left and will need to ‘to up’. Uncapped services provide you with unlimited data and are increasingly becoming more popular as users’ needs grow and so do their data demands.
When deciding on whether to go with a capped or uncapped fibre service, it’s important to look at your needs. Streaming games and movies require a lot of data and you will quickly find your data gets used up. Another important consideration when signing up for fibre is what type of support you get from your provider and what their service times are. Ideally, you should consider a provider who proactively monitors your service and deals with any issues before you even have to log a fault.
If you don’t have fibre in your area you can try approaching your local community to find out if they are interested in fibre. If local residents are on-board you can then approach an infrastructure provider about getting fibre rolled out in your community.
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