Fibre is the future of the internet


It may sound like salesmen talk, but it is true. Every technology is moving to include internet connectivity, and for this the demands on your internet line speed and data usage will sky-rocket.

Fibre vs ADSL

ADSL technology is physically limited by the electromagnetic propagation properties of a copper wire. As you increase the speed, the distance over which you can obtain that speed gets shorter and shorter, up to the point where it is impractical to use. ADSL is only available from Telkom, and runs on Telkom's congested network. During busy times line speeds drop, because there are too many people trying to use the same connection going out from the community to the regional network.

Fibre vs Wireless

Wireless technology such as 3G, HSDPA, and LTE is limited by the electromagnetic propagation properties of air. It has similar problems to copper, with the added problem of limited spectrum availability. The air is a shared resource, and the more people use it, the slower it gets. The solution is to create more base stations, covering smaller areas, and shortening the distance between the tower and the receiver.

Both of ADSL and wireless solutions already utilise fibre connections to the distribution boxes and base stations. As the distances from our homes to these distributions boxes and base stations become shorter and shorter, so does the fibre connections come closer and closer to our homes. We are at the point where it makes sense to simply lay the fibre connection right to your doorstep.

Community Fibre vs Telkom Fibre

Why don't we just wait for Telkom Fibre? It is true that they are busy with a roll-out in the big cities, and at some point that fibre roll-out will reach us. However here is the biggest reason why we as a community should organise our own fibre: Telkom's network is congested because they use large connection ratios. A connection ratio is basically how many people share the same line onto the national network, and on Telkom's network this is just too many. People that have Telkom fibre complain that you do not get the full speed advertised, Telkom claims it is a best effort service, and ISP's (for e.g. Web Africa) warn you that you cannot expect the advertised speeds. On top of that, Telkom is also more expensive. Because they are a de-facto monopoly they can ask what they want. Telkom provides Telkom grade support & services, I don't have to say more on that topic. If you decide you want Telkom fibre, waiting times are currently in the range of 2 months, while community fibre can be activated on the very same day. Finally, Telkom's network is not an open network. When we get our own fibre, it will be an open network, allowing any company to provide voice, digital TV, community CCTV and any other service of the future over this same network, to the benefit of the community. On Telkom's closed network, only Telkom can provide those services, and you are stuck without choice and without competition, limited to what they want to offer, and as a result you will pay more for less.

Community fibre open to all service providers. Community fibre is fast during peak and of-peak hours. Community fibre is cheap, less expensive than ADSL, less expensive than 3G. Community fibre is supported, reliable, and maintained.

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