Fibre is the fastest and most reliable connection we have in South Africa. It has the capacity to work at the speed of light and can achieve speeds of up to 200 Mbps.
While fibre has been in the country for more than 10 years, it’s still not widely available. You are likely to get access in metropolitan areas, including Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.
“Ultimately, fibre expands the vision of small business decision makers, while levelling the playing fields with large organisations in terms of access and collaboration” – Arthur Goldstuck
There are two types of fibre in South Africa, Fibre To The Home (FTTH) and Fibre To The Business (FTTB). FTTH is normally used in households and is cheaper than FTTB which is more expensive as it takes into consideration the business’s needs.
According to Accelerit, an internet service provider, “FTTB has several advantages over FTTH, including wider coverage, better contention ratios, complex security, and clearly-defined service level agreements (SLA).”
The benefits of fibre for SMEs
In an interview with SME South Africa, Rise in Fibre Adoption Among SMEs, Arthur Goldstuck, principal researcher for SME Survey and MD of World Wide Worx, notes that a key benefit of fibre for SMEs is that it enables SMEs to operate online without any of the performance and quality constraints they may have faced before.
This means that their communications are significantly improved, enabling them to utilise solutions like video-conferencing and social media platforms to further their business. It also gives them more confidence in using the Internet for transactional purposes, thanks to the quality and speed of the connectivity.
How to get fibre?
To get FTTB you need to have fibre infrastructure in the area that you operate in. Infrastructure providers do not offer any retail services to end users. Some of the biggest fibre infrastructures providers in South Africa are Vumatel and Openserve, however there are many more out there.
You will need to check with the fibre infrastructure provider to find out if there is fibre available in your area. After which you would then choose an internet service provider (ISP) operating within that fibre infrastructure that fits your needs. Well known examples include Telkom and Afrihost.
Features to consider when purchasing fibre to the business:
- Uncapped fibre: this means that you will not run out of data
- Unshaped fibre: the internet service provider will not limit what you are able to do online, for example excessive streaming or downloading.
- Unthrottled fibre: the internet service provider will not slow down the speed of your internet.
- Asymmetric connection: your upload and download speeds differ, this is commonly expressed as 5/10 Mbps which means that your upload speed is 5 Mbps and download speed is 10 Mbps.
- Symmetric connection: offers super fast uploads and downloads at the same speed. Usually expressed as 10/10 Mbps which means your upload and download speed are the same.
- Open Access Fibre Networks – they allow any accredited Internet Service Provider (ISP) to offer their services on their network encouraging greater competition which means low-cost delivery to users.
For help with finding the right FTTB internet service provider SME South Africa did the research. We compare three popular FTTB Internet Service Providers – Home Connect, RSAWEB and Active Fibre.
Home Connect- Access to numerous FTTB Infrastructure Providers
About Home Connect
Home Connect started out as a fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) provider, later adding fibre to the business (FTTB) services. Home Connect partners with some of the biggest open access fibre infrastructure providers in the country.
Their FTTB package includes uncapped and unshaped fibre, symmetrical (equal download speeds) and asymmetrical, a Wifi router and fibre installation.
- Free installation and activations.
- Unshaped fibre guaranteeing you speed 24/7.
- Free router with all packages.
- No contracts, month-to-month obligations.
- They work with a number of infrastructure providers so they have a wide coverage throughout the country.
- Fast and unshaped speed which means you can have many people connected at once.
Home Connect works with five fibre infrastructure providers, those being Openserve, Openfibre, DNA Tel, Octotel and Lightstruck. They each offer different pricing.
- 10 Mbps upload/download speed, uncapped and unshaped data, which comes in symmetrical and asymmetrical depending on the package you choose, ranging from R880 per month.
- 20 Mbps upload/download speed, uncapped and unshaped data, which comes in symmetrical and asymmetrical depending on the package you choose, ranging from R1380 per month.
- 50 Mbps upload/download speed, uncapped and unshaped data, which comes in symmetrical and asymmetrical depending on the package you choose, ranging from R1888 per month.
RSAWEB – Best FTTB Benefits
RSAWEB is a South African internet service provider that was established in 2001. They specialise in cloud infrastructure, enterprise connectivity, fibre to the home and mobile data management.
Their business fibre comprises of the following features: fast and reliable connection, always on fibre connection with speeds up to 500 Mbps, uncapped and can connect multiple devices on one network.
- Large workforce support: when your business grows, they offer you room to scale your workforce.
- Fast page loading times.
- Uninterrupted streaming, allows for video streaming, video conferencing and voice services.
- Faster data transfer.
- 24 hour on-call business support from their engineers.
- A business router is provided with every purchase.
RSAWEB does not list their pricing on their website, for quotes you will need to order the package that you want. Their packages are:
- 10 Mbps upload/download speed, uncapped and unshaped data with a free router included.
- 30 Mbps upload/download speed, uncapped and unshaped data with a free router included.
- 50 Mbps upload/download speed, uncapped and unshaped data with a free router included.
Active Fibre – Country-wide Business Solutions
About Active Fibre
Active Fibre is an internet service provider that provides high-speed secure access to the internet. They provide fibre to the home and to the business and their coverage is country wide for business solutions.
Their Active Fibre FTTB offers high speed internet, with uncapped and unshaped packages. Their business solutions coverage is country wide.
- Quick installation period between 4-6 weeks.
- Low-cost fibre from R1500 per month.
- High speed, reliable fibre.
- Options are available for active firewall and security.
- Offers VoIP (voice over internet protocol) with low call rates and monthly fees.
- Security firewall can be added for an additional R900 per month.
- Go Active 10 Mbps with a speed of 10 upload/download, on a 24 month contract for R1500 excluding VAT.
- Go Active 20 Mbps with a speed of 20 upload/download, on a 24 month contract for R2000 excluding VAT.
- Go Active 20/20 Mbps with a speed of 2✕20 upload/download, on a 24 month contract for R3000 excluding VAT.
Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links in this article are affiliate links and SME South Africa will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. All recommendations have been carefully considered and they are resources SME South Africa has found helpful and trustworthy.