Understanding Fibre Internet: Everything You Need to Know

Man sitting at table with router in front of him


Fibre internet is one of the latest and most advanced technologies in the field of telecommunications. It has revolutionised the way people access the internet, offering faster and more reliable connections. But what exactly is fibre internet, how does it work, and how is it different from other internet technologies? In this comprehensive article, we will answer all your questions related to fibre internet.


What is fibre internet?

Fibre internet, also known as fibre optic internet, is a broadband technology that uses hair-thin optical fibres made of glass or plastic, to transmit data. The technology was first used by the medical industry in the 1950s before it was adapted by engineers in the 1960s to transmit phone calls and, a decade later, the cables were being used to connect computers to early networks. Now, the world is connected by fibre cables that run hundreds of thousands of kilometres over land and under the sea, across the planet.


Is fibre faster than other internet connections?

Yes, fibre internet is generally considered to be faster than other internet connections. Fibre internet can offer speeds of 1Gbps or higher, which is much faster than other broadband technologies.


What is the Difference between fibre and LTE?

LTE, or Long-Term Evolution, is a wireless technology that is used to provide internet access on mobile devices. LTE relies on cellular networks to provide internet access, which means that the speed and reliability of the connection can vary depending on the strength of the cellular signal and the availability of towers – particularly during loadshedding as batteries discharge. Fibre internet, on the other hand, provides a wired connection that is much more reliable and delivers more consistent speeds.


What does a fibre installation cost?

There is a cost involved in running the fibre line from the nearest source (likely an underground or overhead cable which runs down most urban streets) to your home and installing the optical network terminal (ONT). The cost varies depending on the provider and the specific package you choose. In some cases, fibre providers may offer free installation for new customers, while in other cases, you may need to pay an installation fee. After that one-off fee, you'll pay a monthly fee for access to the service. Compare deals from different fibre providers and check out each one's specific installation policies and fees.


Once I've signed up with a fibre provider, can I connect to the internet?

While some providers offer deals directly to customers, others rely on Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to connect users to the internet. Think of a fibre provider like Vumatel or OpenServe as the road network and an ISP as the car you use to drive on it. The Hippo comparison tool will help you find the simplest, best and most cost-effective package for your needs.


Do I get a router when I order a fibre installation?

Most fibre providers and ISPs will supply you with a router when you order a fibre installation or sign up for a contract. Those who supply routers often deliver them pre-set up so that you can simply plug the router into your ONT and get online. The router may be included in the cost of the installation or there may be an additional fee. It is best to check with your provider for their specific policies on routers and any associated fees.


FTTH stands for Fibre To The Home, which refers to the fibre optic network that runs directly to the user's home. The fibre connection terminates at an optical network terminal (ONT) located inside the home – a small box on the wall – which allows users to connect a router and use LAN cables or WiFi to connect to the internet.


FTTH is considered a superior solution to FTTB (Fibre To The Building), as it eliminates any potential signal degradation that may occur through distribution over coaxial or twisted-pair wiring.


Does fibre internet work when there is loadshedding?

Yes, fibre works during loadshedding and power outages because it relies on an optical network that runs on light. You will, however, need to power your ONT (Optical Network Terminal – basically your 'fibre box') and router with a compatible inverter or battery pack to be able to connect your devices like laptops or phones to the network – and, depending on the length of the outage and your battery level – charge or power them, too.


Also read: How to boost your home wi-fi


Fibre internet offers a number of advantages over other types of internet connections, which include higher upload and download speeds, better reliability and an always-on connection. Compare fibre and LTE deals now to get the best connection for your home or business.


This article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial, legal or medical advice.

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