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The State of Fibre in South Africa Right Now

Staff Writer's picture

Already in the year 2000, Western Europe and North America were enjoying the benefits of a well developed Fibre infrastructure, while here in South Africa, and much later, in 2007 to be exact, we were struggling with city and town permissions for digging and trenching, which proved a stumbling block of years.

In 2015, South African broadband costs were 10 times higher than in the United Kingdom, and their speed was five times faster.

But right now, we are covering ground, literally, and most of our metropolitan areas have access to this means of connectivity.

Fibre coverage in South Africa

The government plans to have Fibre-optic cables throughout South Africa by the year 2020, providing internet access to all homes by 2030, but that may be a tad idealistic because it’s a slow and expensive exercise.

To replace all copper with Fibre-optic cables means a rough estimated cost of R60 billion.

Due to cost, the first areas to receive Fibre coverage were in the more affluent locations, where people could afford it. As it is rolled out further, and more homes and businesses install it, it will become cheaper so that eventually, even our rural communities will be able to access fast internet via these optic cables.

Current Fibre coverage in Johannesburg.

Check if you have Fibre coverage in your area.

Price

The good news is that the price of Fibre in South Africa is likely the most expensive it will ever be.

That’s because the cost of time, digging and trenching as well as the optic cables, have to be made up somehow. This is why the wealthier areas are enjoying the benefits of Fibre before it gets rolled out to other areas. Other areas will see the Fibre installation last when the price has dropped.

The higher the speed, the more costly the price.

At this point, we feel under obligation to advise you that businesses should never select an ISP based on price unless they’re OK with speed interference and unreliability.

If a supplier is much cheaper than others, it’s wise to ask why, and where are they making up for the cost. For instance, upload speed may not be the same as download speed or the last mile may not be Fibre (in which case, your connection speed may be slower than you thought it would be).

What currently influences Fibre prices are:

  • Line speed
  • Last mile connectivity
  • Uncapped
  • Uncontended
  • Synchronous
  • Support
  • SLA’s

If any of these are missing, your staff are likely to experience frustration, and efficiency will lag.

Get more information about what influences Fibre prices.

Line speeds

BitCo offers a maximum speed of 1Gbps, but the more demand there is in SA, the higher the speed will become and there are more options now than there ever have been.

Already there has been an increase in Fibre speed, although most Fibre providers do not yet offer speeds higher than 50 – 200 Mbps.

BitCo as a Fibre provider

BitCo is a premium business Fibre provider. While we may be more expensive than others, the price includes guaranteed operational uptime of 99%, reliability and speed.

There are a few reasons why BitCo offers greater peace of mind to businesses:

  • We offer customised solutions or ready-made packages of up to 1000Mbps (1Gbps) in line speed. We are one of the few who offer this, if not the only one.
  • We maintain and manage our own network, and this makes our services more reliable and faster.
  • We have our own technical team, unlike most ISPs who outsource support. This makes our responses and resolutions faster, as we don’t need to rely on a third party.  We are also more “in tune” with the needs of our clients.
  • We are one of the few to offer uncapped, plus uncontended, plus synchronous packages, which basically means that data is unlimited (most ISPs shape or throttle clients when the service is uncapped; BitCo doesn’t), your speed is not affected by other users, and download/upload speeds are the same no matter what.
  • We never throttle or shape our FTTB packages, while most other ISPs do. This impacts the quality of the line speed.
  • We offer SLAs for additional peace of mind and for transparency’s sake.

If you’ve ever suffered the frustration of a lagging connection, you’ll know that the extra pricing is worth it; your Fibre internetconnection is tied to efficiency and profitability.

Take our online connectivity guide to find the perfect solution for your business!

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