Fibre optic is at the forefront of the telecommunications revolution, and has become the standard for home and business internet applications.
If you’re searching for credible Fibre Internet providers in South Africa then you’ve come to the the right place. Learn, Compare and Find the best Fibre Internet connection that suits your business needs.
We’re here to help you along the the process and connect you with your chosen provider.
Fiber internet, also known as fiber optic internet, is a type of internet connection that uses fiber optic cables to transmit data. These cables are made up of thin strands of glass or plastic known as optical fibers. These fibers are designed to carry data using light signals, allowing for exceptionally fast and reliable internet connections.
Fibre internet works by converting electrical signals carrying data into light and then transmitting that light through the fibre optic cables. When the light signals reach their destination, they are converted back into electrical signals, allowing for the transmission of data.
Fibre internet is the preferred choice for both residential and business users due to its speed, reliability, and future-proof infrastructure. However, its availability might vary based on location, as the infrastructure required to deliver fibre optic internet may not be accessible in all areas.
Depending on what infrastructure already exists, your provider may very well require permission from the authorities before they can conduct any civil or installation work.
This can have a sever impact to your delivery timelines so be sure to take this into account when planning your project.
Building a Fibre network is not an easy task, nor a cheap one. There are only a few who build infrastructure (known as Fibre Network Operators or FNOs), who lease this infrastructure to various Internet Service Provider’s (ISP’s).
Irrespective of the level of service your chosen Internet provider can give you, they are ultimately at the mercy of the Fibre network operator.
Find out who this is, and whether you have an option between different providers? Find out why one is better than the next?
When you connect to a local exchange you acknowledge that if that exchange is, for example, driven over by a bus, that all businesses connecting to that exchange will not have any service.
If you want to mitigate those risks, ask your provider about possible fail-over solutions.
In the case of Wireless or Fibre, getting service is always subject to whether there is infrastructure available to connect your business.
For Fibre, this could be how far the Fibre termination point is – perhaps on the street curb or is it in the basement of your building, and only need to be connected to your office?
For wireless, this is usually whether there is direct line of sight from the provider’s tower to the roof or point of your building where they will place their antennae.
It is due to this, that it is always necessary for the provider to do a feasibility analysis. In this, they will understand what infrastructure exists already, or what infrastructure will need to be implemented (and at what cost) to deliver service to your location.
This really depends on the provider who will usually conduct a feasibility analysis to identify if there is available infrastructure or signal for your premises.
Most providers will advertise the areas they reach on a coverage map of some sorts.
Once feasibility has been approved, the process could take from 4 weeks up to 6 months depending on how much infrastructure needs to be installed or built.
In some cases, when ordering Fibre services, we have seen some carriers provide customers with temporary wireless services to use while the Fibre infrastructure is being built.
Most systems can be designed to provide near 100% uptime and availability (outside of downtime required for maintenance) both in the provider’s network, and on your site.
You must understand the factors which could impact your connection, and ask what steps your provider has in place to mitigate these risks, and how they handle these occurrences as they come along.
Lastly, depending on how critical it is for your business to have connectivity, you may want to consider having multiple links at your site, such as a mix of both fibre and wireless. This could prove effective in combatting any issues on either the fixed or wireless networks.
This is determined by several factors, but mostly based on the package which you have purchased, and also begs the question of how fast of an internet line do you actually need? The answer is very much based on your businesses specific requirements considering the size of your business and the type of business operation.
Even if the equipment you were provided can carry higher speeds, you may be limited by the service you have subscribed to which has specific policies for throttling, shaping or contention ratios.
What is the contention ratio?
It is simply a ratio used to measure the extent of the sharing of infrastructure between multiple users or customers.
A typical contention ratio for services is 10:1, meaning that the connection the network provider has put in their network has been provisioned to provide services for up to 10 parties.
It is not financially viable for providers to sell low-price internet services with low contention ratios since networks are costly to build and to operate.
For corporate connections and/or demanding environments, providers are known to be able to deliver dedicated 1:1 connections or lower contention services.
This is usually determined by the package you have purchased.
Although there are a lot of providers offering uncapped data packages, the question should always be asked of how much data you actually require for your business?
Having a set package allows the provider to also control where their capacity needs to be channelled, and can work towards providing a better quality of service, whereas if everyone is on uncapped package then it is a free for all and there is always bound to inconsistent quality connections.
Look at the options available from your provider, and ask them whether there is any quality difference between uncapped and capped packages.
Jumping into a new agreement is not always seamless, and you need to make sure that your new provider understands exactly what services you have at present, and what is required once you move services.
Services which need to be considered include lines which may be in contract, hosting with a different internet provider who has issued you an email address on their service (for example, email@example.com) which may be cancelled if you cancel the hosting package.
When it comes to telephone services, understand what lines are in use, and what is needed to move your telephone service over to a new provider. There will be porting involved, and in most cases, you will need a new VoIP device or handset which becomes your new phone.
Most importantly, understand your current contractual obligations and what services or functionality you possibly will lose by moving to another provider.
Work with your chosen provider to understand all the FIXED and VARIABLE costs involved in receiving the service for your business.
Fixed Costs – are usually made up of line rentals, subscriptions, hardware and service level agreements.
Variable Costs – are made up from usage-based services or ad hoc services, including any out-of-bundle charges.
Ask what costs there are at the different stages of your partnership too.
Start-up Costs – these could be costs related to any service activation, installation and provisioning, training and hardware required for the service.
Note: If there are no setup or hardware costs, make sure that you understand whether you are liable for any of these costs at any stage of the partnership.
Subscription Costs – these are the anticipated costs for use of the services. Be sure to understand what other costs may come into play and ensure that you agree to those costs upfront.
Conclusion and Exit Costs – at the end of the agreement term, ask what happens. Is there a cancellation notice period, is there an automatic renewal? What happens to the hardware, and are there any fees for removal of the equipment or infrastructure?
Having clarity and complete transparency on all costs will help you to do an apples for apples comparison between providers, and ensure that you don’t sit with any unexpected surprises.
It is always advisable to read and understand the full service terms and conditions which will state the contract duration, renewal and cancellation terms.
You may want to place particular focus on notice periods, automatic renewal clauses, and fees associated with renewals and cancellation – especially when new equipment was provided at no direct cost to you at the start of your agreement.
Most of the time everything should work as expected, but when it doesn’t, the real difference between providers can be realised.
Each service should be accompanied by a service level agreement which will give a clear understanding of how you can expect to be supported.
Questions you may want to ask you provider include:
This is where it becomes extremely important to research the various providers before you make your decision! Read past customer reviews, see what their other customers have to say about them online, and don’t be shy to ask for references which you can personally contact!
The best way to protect yourself against rouge products is to insist on a watertight SLA.
Service providers peddling cheap and nasty hardware and services may be reluctant to offer an SLA with penalties if they are aware of the deficiencies of the products they are using.
Network uptime and guarantees
Make sure you understand more about the network your service provider has built or manages. Ask what network redundancy and resiliency is in place, and what uptime guarantees there are? If these are important to you, then they will be important to the service provider too.
Network and device monitoring
Find out whether your chosen provider monitors your connection and the hardware which connects you to their network. Will they know about connectivity issues before you do? And what happens in the case of faulty hardware? What will it take to restore services and at whose cost for collection, delivery and provisioning?
There are a number of industry associations such as the Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA) and the Wireless Access Service Providers Association (WAPA) which play a vital role in maintaining a high quality standard between providers, and often also act as a conduit between the network providers and government to drive the industry forward.
Learn more about these organisations here:
Fibre optic internet stands as a game-changing solution, offering unparalleled speed and reliability. Understanding the differences between home fibre and business fibre is essential in selecting the right solution for your connectivity needs.
Home fibre internet is designed for residential use. It provides high-speed internet access for personal needs, including entertainment, remote work, online streaming, and gaming. This option typically offers competitive download and upload speeds, making it suitable for households requiring fast internet for day-to-day activities.
In contrast, business fibre internet is tailored to meet the demands of professional environments. It offers robust and scalable solutions for enterprises, providing not only high-speed connectivity but also reliability, dedicated support, and stronger service level agreements. Business fibre often comes with added features like static IP addresses, enhanced security measures, and prioritized customer support, ensuring seamless operations for critical business tasks.
Deciding between home and business fibre hinges on the intended use. If you’re a homeowner looking for high-speed internet for personal use, home fibre may suffice. However, for businesses seeking a robust, reliable, and scalable solution with dedicated support and enhanced security, business fibre is the optimal choice.
Both home and business fibre offer high-speed connectivity, but the additional features and support provided by business fibre cater specifically to the demands of professional environments.
When considering fibre internet, evaluate your specific requirements and future growth needs to select the ideal solution that best serves your connectivity demands.
We are committed to helping you to make an educated buying decision, and to find the best telecoms partner for your business.