Roll out of fibre optic begins

The installation of fibre optic has started and it won't be long before clients can experience the speed and versatility of fibre optic or FTTH (fibre-to-the-home).

The roll out of fibre optic installations around South Africa is going to make a huge difference on how South African homes become more dependent on Wi-Fi. Whereas speeds of 10Mbps were the norm, fibre optic boosts download speed up to 100Mbps - a massive increase that will be of benefit to anyone who uses Wi-Fi in their daily home life. FTTH is set to replace your ADSL, 3G or LTE internet connection and you can also use it to make calls to mobile devices and landlines, since VOIP or Voice-Over-Internet-Protocol uses your fibre network to make calls.

At the moment, my home business operates on a 4Mbps line, which rarely reaches that capacity, and the best speed I actually receive is around 2 to 3Mbps. With the installation of fibre optic I can now look at a 20Mbps or 50Mbps speed - at little extra cost - and not have to worry who else might be using the same cable. FTTH is faster and more reliable. Copper-wire internet degrades over distances, while Wi-Fi services degrade with increased usage. With higher speeds you have access to a wide variety of services; higher speed downloads, video on demand and video conferencing in line with that of overseas standards.

One advantage of FTTH that will impact many suburban homes around South Africa is video-on-demand. This market is set to take off with the installation of FTTH, and you can expect competition between ShowMax and Netflix to set the stage for home movie viewing in the future. Why? High-speed Internet theoretically eliminates buffering and the dream of instant streaming becomes reality. I, for one, have cancelled my DStv subscription of just under R1000 per month in favour of ShowMax at R99 per month for a huge monthly saving.

Another benefit of FTTH high-speed internet is video-calling. With FTTH this becomes a more viable experience rather than the grainy, jerky visuals that have chased most clients away from video chatting.

For a once-off installation fee to the installation provider, such as Vumatel or Fibrehoods you select service providers based on their various packages for either a contract or on a month-to-month basis. The most affordable services start at 10Mbps with a 100GB cap, at around R600 per month, and an uncapped 50Mbps at R850. If you're thinking about installing FTTH for streaming or downloading high-definition movies, a family with fibre would need a cap of at least 400GB a month. Something to think about.


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