Across South Africa, Fibre to the Home (FttH) is being rolled out by various Internet Service Providers (ISP’s). Despite the initial inconveniences of suburbia being disrupted by pavements and driveways being dug up to put cabling in, getting down to it, fibre optic is a tool being used more extensively in homes.
While the demand for access to downloads, Netflix, YouTube, TikTok, Facebook and other social networks increase year on year, more and more people are being encouraged to work remotely, which means access to online platforms and cloud storage. With fibre your access opens up an entire online world.
Installing the infrastructure
Once your local municipality has approved the necessary access for fibre, the ISP will start building the backbone network, which connects to a fibre ring or path that feeds from a central node.
As customers join, the neighbourhood is ‘fibred’ by linking from the distribution box on your street to a point inside your home along the shortest possible route.
This is where your neighbourhood starts seeing the effects of yards and ground being dug up the most. From here, your chosen ISP will install a Wi-Fi router and connect it to the internet and will bill you monthly for the service.
Do your research on your ISP, all of them are not equal when it comes to service, pricing and connection speed.
Every ISP will have a different way of doing the provision of equipment. Some may charge an initial cost for installation and equipment, whereas others may factor it in if you are signing a contract with them, or charge just for the service and leave the equipment to your cost.
Does your ISP carry out the set-up process for you? The process of connecting to the fibre and the various password settings can be complex, so it is important to know the steps should you need to carry it out yourself.
When installing, or getting installation, you may want to think about adding access points in your home to expand the range of the wireless network from the router.
Before settling on an ISP, check what their means of support is. Is there a call centre number, online chat or email address that you can use to engage with to receive assistance should you need it.
What line speed do I need?
Line speed is measured in Megabits per second (Mbps) ranging from 10 – 100 Mbps. The higher the speed, the more it is likely to cost. A good way to judge is to figure out what you will be doing online.
If you’re not into TV streaming or downloading and uploading big files, a 10 Mbps line will do, but if you’re accessing the internet for work or taking part in online gaming, a faster internet connection at 50 or even 100 Mbps is a good idea to prevent frustration and buffering.
You should also be aware of how many devices are connecting at any given time. The more devices connecting at once, the higher the speed of the line will need to be.
Also, be aware of your upload and download speeds, and what the chances are of upgrading during your period of the contract that you are signing for.
You also get to choose the amount of data that you would like to access within a month. Once again, the cost is a major factor to think of. A capped line is suitable for general surfing and the occasional song download. A capped contract basically means that you will have a data limit and once this is reached, you will need to top up, most times at out of contract rates, which are higher.
If you are planning to do a lot of downloading and uploading or have consistent work carried out online, it would be better to consider an uncapped package.
Some ISPs will provide an uncapped package but will have a ‘fair usage’ policy that ‘throttles’ your speed if you overshoot stipulated limits. This being said, an uncapped package will give you more flexibility, and typically is cheaper than your capped packages.
All these factors will help you choose the right Internet Service Provider for your needs. If you want to find out more about why fibre optic is growing in popularity, read our blog on ‘Why it pays to get fibre optic internet‘.
If you are looking for a partner to help you choose your connection to the information highway, why not contact us to see how we can assist you?
Sources: Business Tech