Is Fibre cheaper than ADSL?

Yes, in most cases Fibre internet is cheaper than ADSL because you can drop the additional voice landline rental. This means you don’t need to pay R201 a month for a voice line that you rarely use.

Fibre Industry Jargon

Sometimes the fibre industry jargon and acronyms can make your head spin. Luckily, they’re not as complicated as they may sound.

Network Infrastructure Provider or Fibre Network Operator – Also known as NIPs or FNOs, these are companies that own, operate and sell access to fibre across their infrastructure. Put simply, they are the people who install the fibre cables in your area.

Internet Service Provider -Also known as an “ISP”, this is a company that provides bit stream for a monthly fee. They will have several fibre packages available, depending on the speed of internet that you require and the quantity of data that you need to up or download per month.

Buffering – This involves pre-loading data into a certain area of memory, known as a buffer, so that the data can be accessed faster when one of the computer’s processing units needs it. This is done to speed processes up. When you see the “buffering” sign, this is generally an indication that the internet connection is too slow to load the data in real time, for example streaming a video. The computer will buffer the video data and only start the playback when there is enough pre-loaded data to prevent video lag.

Lag – This is a slow response or noticeable decrease in speed of a computer application and is usually due to extreme network congestion, slow internet connection, or insufficient processing power. This is most obvious when streaming videos or playing computer games. In videos, this may manifest as videos freezing, stuttering or the audio losing synchronization with the video. In video games, this may manifest as a reduced frame rate, leading to jumping or stuttering of the frames when moving in the game, a delay between a player’s action and a game’s reaction to the input, and freezing of the game followed by an abrupt correction.

Bandwidth – This refers to the maximum data transfer rate across an internet connection. It is usually measured in megabytes. The more bandwidth you have, the more data can be transferred, and the faster your internet will be. – Please relook this – bandwith refers length on data transfer

Fiber Optical Network Terminal or ONT – Also known as the modem, this device converts the light signals from the fibre optic line, into electric signals to enable the router to understand them.

Fibre Router – This equipment connects your devices to a fibre internet connection through wireless technology. Assists with WIFI

Capped versus Uncapped – Capped Internet puts a limit on the data that can be up or downloaded. Once the cap is reached, the user is charged for any data used over and above the cap. Uncapped accounts have no limit on the data that can be up or downloaded.

Throttling – This is when Internet Service Providers or ISP’s restrict or throttle the maximum speed of your uncapped internet line, if a certain amount of data is used in a month. The extent to which ISP’s do this, changes depending on the customer’s data usage and specific ISP, with different usage limits applied according to the speed of the line.

Contended versus Uncontended – A contended fibre line means that the fibre connection is shared between multiple users in an area to a ratio. This means that any heavy use by one or more consumer, will affect all the other users sharing the connection. Uncontended, or dedicated connections, have a direct fibre connection to the building and is not shared.

Shaped or Unshaped bandwidth – When bandwidth is shaped, it carries a higher priority on your line. This means that all data from a particular server is prioritized to reach your computer first. For example, your line could be shaped to prioritize emails from an email server, and emails will come through before anything else such as, social media notifications or playing movies. It also means that the performance of internet applications that are not prioritized will be slow. Unshaped bandwidth means that all data carries the same priority.

What fibre internet speed do I need for Netflix?

This may differ depending on what else you are doing with your internet (see What fibre speed do I need question), but 10 Mbps internet should be sufficient for high quality video streaming on Netflix.

How does fibre connect to my home?

On installation day, a technician from the relevant NIP will go to your house to run the fibre cable from a fibre node in your area, to your property. Referred as a drop cable

They will connect the fibre cable to a device called an ‘Optical Network Terminal’ or ONT. This device converts the optical signal back into an electrical signal, so that it can communicate with the router.

The ONT device will be installed in a convenient area on your property, and the Wi-fi router will be connected to it. The technician will test the connection, ensure that everything is in order.  And Voila You are now connected to the internet.