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Picture: 123RF/SAM74100
Picture: 123RF/SAM74100

We need the internet – fast, reliable internet – to work, connect with friends and family, and for entertainment. But more than that, the internet is necessary for economic growth and to propel society forward into the digital age.

For that, we need fibre.

What is fibre?

Fibre-optic threads use light impulses to carry digital data signals over longer distances and at higher bandwidths than electrical cables. Each thread is as thin as a human hair and made of glass – making it the most efficient way to encode and decode information on the internet.

What’s the difference between fibre connectivity and DSL connectivity?

Fibre transmits data with pulses of light over fibre-optic cables, while ADSL (asymmetric digital subscriber line) transmits data along copper telephone cables. VDSL (very-high-bit-rate digital subscriber line) is another type of digital subscriber line that uses copper lines more efficiently and can reach speeds of up to 40 megabits per second (Mbps).

Fibre is more reliable than copper wires – it’s faster and because it’s made of glass, weather and distance won’t affect it.

What are the benefits of fibre?

  • It’s more stable and reliable.
  • Fibre has quicker, more consistent internet speeds.
  • Fibre is easier to maintain.
  • The signal can travel over longer distances.
  • Fibre is not susceptible to electrical interference or electromagnetic noise.
  • Fibre offers a better broadband connection and a clearer signal, so you can:

- Watch Netflix or YouTube without it buffering
- Play games without the lag
- Sync your home’s smart devices
- Convert your home to a smart home

How fast is fibre?

Imagine the difference between trying to download a video with fibre (30 minutes) and doing it by VDSL (almost eight hours).

Fibre is 50 times faster than a 2Mbps line. Fibre is available as 10Mbps, 20Mbps, 40Mbps, 100Mbps and 200Mbps lines, whereas DSL is maxed out at 40Mbps.

The graph below illustrates the difference in download speeds between fibre and VDSL.

Source: TELKOM. Picture: INFOGRAM
Source: TELKOM. Picture: INFOGRAM

How to migrate from ADSL to fibre

Contact your ISP and ask for Openserve.

A list of preferred internet service providers

The open access communications infrastructure provider has supplied more than a million DSL connections, laid down more than 161,000km of fibre optic cables and connected more than 139,000 homes to fibre. Before you make the switch to fibre, find out if it’s available in your area.

How to check if there’s fibre in your area

You can check if your area has fibre coverage by typing your address into this interactive map. If there isn’t fibre in your area, ask your ISP to alert you when a rollout begins. You can also register your interest here.

Is there a one-off fee to connect to fibre?

There will be an installation charge to connect to fibre, but these days many ISPs have special installation deals available. Shop around to find the best option for you.

How much will it cost a month?

The monthly fee is set by your ISP and each package may come with unique deals, like free installation or a free fibre router. MyBroadband last year compared fibre prices across ISPs in SA, which ranged between:

  • R1,297 and R1,999 for a 100Mbps line;
  • R999 and R1,499 for 40Mbps;
  • R897 and R1,399 for 20Mbps; and
  • R647 and R1,199 for 10Mbps.  

How long will it take?

The time it takes to install and activate your fibre line depends on your ISP. To speed up the process, make sure that you give proper details such as your address, and be available on the day of the appointment to ensure clear access to the point of entry for the fibre installation and the router.

After that, it can take up to seven days for the provider to activate your line.

To find out more about fibre and the options available to you, contact your internet service provider and #AskForOpenserve


Visit www.openserve.co.za for more information.

 

This article was paid for by Openserve.