Fibre internet has allowed South Africans to connect with the world like never before. Whether gaming, working or simply watching TV, fibre’s ultra-fast speed and low latency has effectively rendered vast distances immaterial as the world truly becomes a global village.
And with fibre’s tendrils reaching ever-further throughout South Africa – this MyBroadBand article suggests just under five million premises have access – the world will continue to ‘shrink’ for us here at the southern tip of Africa.
Before we dive into the tips and tricks, let’s look at what exactly fibre is and how it differs to the likes of ADSL and fixed LTE. Fibre makes use of fibre optic strands to transmit data at the speed of light. It’s the most reliable of the three technologies (by a long way) and offers the best speeds on a more consistent basis.
ADSL is very much a legacy technology and is being phased out in South Africa. This technology transmits data via copper cables at maximum speed of 40Mbps.
LTE is a wireless technology and likely accounts for most home broadband connections across the country. According to ICASA’s report on the state of the ICT sector in SA, national population coverage for 4G/LTE was at 97.7% in 2021.
The same report revealed that there were 1 379 207 fibre to home connections while there were around 47 million LTE devices nationally.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s look at a few simple steps you can take to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your fibre connection.
Ensure that your router, LAN cables and wireless cards can handle the speed that you’re paying for. Some fibre routers wireless cards can only handle speeds of up to 100Mbps for example. If you’re paying for a 200Mbps line and you’re using one of these devices, you’re losing half of the speed that you’re paying for to a hardware bottleneck.
The same applies to LAN cables. A Category 5 LAN cable can only transmit data at speeds of 100Mbps while Category 6 cable can transmit data at 1 Gbps – 10 times more than its CAT 5 cousin. If you’re running cable at home, make sure that you understand the differences. There are also maximum cable lengths to keep in mind. Keep it to less than 100m and you’ll be fine.
Modern fibre routers operate on two radio frequency bands: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. The band that you choose for certain devices will affect your speeds as well as signal strength.
Make sure that your home office as well as devices like gaming consoles and smart TVs are situated close to your router and are using the 5 GHz band as they take
You should always make sure that you have the latest firmware version installed on your router. Firmware is essentially just permanent software programmed into the memory of a device to help it operate. These firmware updates come with bug fixes and essential security patches. Regularly updating your firmware can eliminate any connection issues that you might be experiencing.
Everyone has different needs when it comes to the internet. A Single person who only uses the net to check emails or social media will have very different needs to someone who downloads massive game patches and plays online.
Before deciding on a speed, ask yourself what you’ll be using your fibre connection for. If you’re going to be doing some light browsing and responding to emails, the cheapest fibre deal – usually 10Mbps product – should be fine. However, if you live in a household with several people who all stream content or play games online, you might want to consider getting a 100Mbps + line. Have a look at our fibre internet deals and find a product suited to your needs.
Air fibre employs point to point radio signals to deliver a ‘fibre-like’ experience to your home. It must be stressed, however, that Air fibre and traditional fibre are NOT the same thing, despite what some marketing material will try to have you believe. Regular fibre is far more reliable and offers far greater speeds.
Most FNOs generally take around a week to do an installation. Sometimes you get a bit lucky and they’ll come out on the same day or a couple of days after your order has been placed.