What is fibre broadband?

The internet is no longer something that’s “nice to have” – it’s become a commodity that businesses and households cannot do without. We use it for work, for banking, for entertainment, and it’s also a means to communicate with our loved ones. It’s for this reason, that we have come to rely upon services such as fibre broadband to provide us with an internet connection that’s fast and stable.

In This Guide:

What is fibre broadband?

Fibre broadband or “fibre optic broadband” is a type of internet connection that uses fibre optic cables to transfer data. Some internet service providers use standard copper cables to run their connection, but the copper has proven to be slower and less reliable than the new fibre optic alternative.

Other than its improved speed and stability, fibre broadband generally works the same as standard broadband connections that you will find across the globe. You won’t need a fancy computer to use it and once your connection has been activated, then you’re good to go!

How fast is fibre broadband?

Like with most internet services, the speed of a fibre optic internet connection will depend on the type of connection you have, i.e. how much bandwidth have you subscribed to? For example, fibre optic broadband has the ability to download at a speed of up to 300MB/s. This type of speed can be costly, however, and is only necessary for large businesses who need this extreme performance. A speed of 150MB/s is more than enough to keep a web-hungry household happy and is still much faster than a copper connection.

It may, at this stage, be important to note that:

  • Fibre offers faster than average broadband speeds for South Africa
  • You can download more, faster, with fibre
  • Fibre internet is more reliable than copper and less 'patchy' than WiFi

What are the advantages of fibre?

Apart from its fast browsing and download speed, fibre broadband also has the following benefits:

  • It offers a clear and uninterrupted experience: Unlike ADSL connections that are easily affected by bad weather and the distance from a reliable exchange, fibre broadband provides a continuously strong and steady connection.
  • Music, movies, and TV shows can be streamed smoothly: If you love streaming YouTube videos and watching your shows on Netflix or Showmax, then a fibre line will allow you to watch on-demand content online.
  • The video calling quality is amazing: If you have loved ones in faraway places, a fibre line can help you keep in touch. You can use video calling software to video chat with anyone, anywhere in the world (without constantly losing connection).
  • It’s not going anywhere soon: With technology improving so rapidly, you have to ask yourself, is there an even better internet solution in the works? What will happen when fibre becomes obsolete? For now, it seems as though fibre broadband is here to stay. In fact, providers are working hard at discovering ways to use fibre lines to send data even faster (this means that the infrastructure won’t become redundant any time soon).
  • It’s becoming easier to get a broadband connection: Fibre service providers and fibre lines are moving into more and more South African neighbourhoods. Once a fibre line has been installed in your neighbourhood, then a quick and hassle-free connection and activation is possible.

Where can I get it?

As it stands, fibre optic broadband isn’t covering all areas of South Africa as just yet. Whilst many major hubs can boast connectivity with this technology, the less populated areas are still waiting for their turn.

The good news is that this service is growing fast and cables are being laid in smaller towns as you read this. So, if fibre isn’t available near you just yet, you should be getting it sometime in the near future.

If your neighbourhood already has fibre broadband available, then your local internet service providers will be able to connect you and set you up with a package that will suit your needs.

How much does fibre broadband cost?

As is the case with any product, for a higher quality service, you will be expected to pay more. The good news is that the price of fibre broadband has dropped since it first entered the market, although it is still more costly than your standard broadband service.

The prices of this type of broadband will also vary depending on the speeds you are getting. You can expect to pay more for a faster connection than you will for a slower version of the service.

When you compare broadband deals, you may want to pay attention to the price of the equipment that’s needed for the connection, over and above the service itself, that is. The best providers will provide the equipment for free (usually a modem and a WiFi router) when you subscribe to a contract.

In South Africa, cheap broadband can cost little as R500 per month for a 4Mbps line and into the thousands for the faster connections that are more suited to large businesses.

How can I compare quotes?

Before subscribing to a broadband service, it’s important that you shop around and do a broadband comparison. This way, you can look for a provider that will meet both your budget and your needs.

You can use our user-friendly online quote comparison tool for ease of reference. All you need to do is fill in a quick form and we will do the tedious shopping for you. We will provide you with quotes from the best local fibre broadband providers so that you can easily compare packages and prices.

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