When internet access first reached the mass market, the only way to get online was using a dial-up modem. I’m sure that there are many people who remember the excitement we felt when we heard the modem connecting to the internet (which admittedly took quite a fair amount of time). As technology has evolved, thankfully, so has the internet.The move from dial-up to broadband ADSL was one that everyone welcomed as it meant faster data speeds and faster connection to the internet. While ADSL is currently the most widespread means of connecting to the internet, this is set to change as many ISPs around the country have begun rolling out their Fibre offerings.
In order to understand what Fibre is, we need to look at how it differs from ADSL.
ADSL (in fact, any DSL connection) uses twisted copper telephone lines in order to connect you to the internet. While these copper telephone lines are all over the country, their very abundance is the issue.
You might think that the ready availability of these cables would be a good thing, and they are, but due to the vast amount of people using this existing infrastructure to go online, the signal is not as reliable as it once was.
When copper telephone lines were originally laid, no-one could have predicted the dramatic rise and importance of the internet.
This is where Fibre comes in.
Unlike ADSL, Fibre does not use copper telephone lines in order to connect you to the internet.
Fibre makes use of fibre optic cables, which can relay a signal up to 50 times faster than traditional copper telephone cables.
In order to get Fibre to your home or business, ISPs have had to lay fibre optic cables.
So if you see Telkom digging up the roads and sidewalks in your neighborhood, the odds are (hopefully) that they’re laying fibre.
Because this is a new service and there is no widely existing infrastructure, the cost of Fibre can be more expensive than current ADSL offering.
In order to combat this and entice you to sign up for FTTH (fibre to the home), some ISPs have special introductory offers which can be cheaper than ADSL.
While Fibre could be more costly than ADSL, this might be a better long term option when you’re looking at signing up for an internet package.
Not only is Fibre faster, it also tends to have far less connection issues than ADSL.
Many ISPs are also in the process of slowly migrating their offerings away from ADSL to Fibre, which means that if you’re currently on a package that requires a copper telephone line, this option won’t be around for long