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How do I check if fibre is in my area?

Working from home has become a norm. With this trend, there has been a growing demand for high-speed internet at home. Fibre is the fastest, most accessible home internet in South Africa. It uses the Fibre to the Home (FTTH) infrastructure. FTTH, also called fibre to the premises (FTTP), is a fast-growing infrastructure that provides high-speed internet transmission using optical fibre from a fibre duct through a sequence of transmission poles to apartment buildings, residential houses, and business premises.

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There have been huge investments in the fibre infrastructure rollout for the past two years. As a result, Internet service providers are looking to make headway in the isp market that is seeing a growing home fibre customer base. For instance, Standard Bank partnered with WebAfrica late last year to facilitate the rollout of their high-speed internet fibre. This boom is, however, expected to peak.

Getting a Fibre Connection

Although fibre availability in South Africa is growing fast, it is still not widespread. In addition, the rollout model most ISPs use prioritizes areas with affluent populations or highly populated urban areas. Thus, if you are located in or around an affluent neighborhood, there is a good chance that your neighborhood will have fibre connectivity.

Is Fibre Home Available in My Area?

If you are considering fibre, you will need to find out if it is in your area before installing one in your home or business. Note that, if you are a tenant, you will need consent from your landlord to install fiber in your home. There are several ways to find out if there is fibre in your area:

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Checking official ISP Websites

The best way to find out if fibre is available in your area is to select an internet service provider and go directly to their website. That is because the ISP of your choice will give you the most accurate answer as to whether or not they can install fibre for you in your specific location. See our list of the best ISPs in South Africa in 2022 to help you choose. In addition, the best fibre internet service providers have the means to check fibre availability for different areas on their official sites. Some use maps that show regions with fibre connection, while others use search boxes.

Checking Availability Using Coverage Maps

Internet Service Providers (ISPs) give you access to the internet either through data sim cards, Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL), or fibre optic technology. Data SIMs use cell phone towers, ADSLs use telephone lines, and fibre uses the fibre optic cable. Before an ISP installs fibre at your home or business, they must have an FTTH (fibre to the home) provider to give them the necessary infrastructure for transmission through fibre optic cables. And so, the availability of fibre also depends on the ISP. ISPs may provide maps to show the various regions in which they provide coverage. Go to the website of your preferred ISP to find their coverage map. Alternatively, coverage maps show where you can find a broad spectrum of fibre ISP providers on online sites like fibretiger.co.za.

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Checking Fibre availability Using Search Boxes

Compared to coverage maps, search boxes are an easier way to find out if your area has coverage. This is because search boxes give direct conclusive answers. To use the search box option, you must know your residence or business address. The search box is big and usually runs across the middle of your screen. Click on it and type in your address, then press enter or click the search button. The result will tell you if fibre is available in your area. Search boxes are found on the ISPs site once you go to the fibre section or when you start buying a fibre package.

Looking for Fibre Poles Outside

Looking outside for poles with fiber cables is an even easier way to find out whether your area supports fibre. To identify them, you should first rule out the electricity transmission lines. Fibre cables usually have a thick cylindrical cable with a black coating. At the poles, the cables are coils, and a black plastic device looks like a cone.

Advantages of Fibre

  1. Fibre is faster than many internet access options currently available in South Africa. It has a 1 Gbps speed, which is 10 to 20 times faster than the other options. It is convenient for businesses with a lot of online work and individuals who work from home.
  2. It is reliable. Whether for watching movies, attending online classes, or sitting in on zoom meetings, you get fewer freezes and buffering on fibre than on the other internet access options. What is even more, for a higher amount, you can get a faster package that is more convenient for your use case.
  3. Fibre internet has the same speeds for downloads and uploads. The same cannot be said for data SIM internet. Due to popular demand, data SIM internet usually has more bandwidth available for downloads than uploads.
  4. Fibre is convenient for multiple device connections. Businesses can benefit from fibre’s ability to connect multiple devices without considerably dropping speeds. Even when used for home internet, it is still quite convenient. Many devices can be conveniently used while connected in the modern home. 
  5. Since they do not emit radiation while they are being transmitted in cables, fibre connectivity is a healthier option for the general public. Cellular connectivity has received a lot of criticism from scientists worldwide who have questioned health and safety regulations in the past years. Moreso now that there is 5G. With fibre, there is much less exposure to radiation that is potentially harmful in the long run. 
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Disadvantages of Fibre

  1. Because fibre is relatively new, its availability is still quite low compared to the other internet options. 
  2. Fibre is expensive. Though it depends on a person’s use case, fibre is quite expensive for most people compared to data from SIM cards. 

In Summary

You can find out if your area has fibre by checking poles, looking through coverage maps, or typing your location in coverage search boxes online. All three ways are discussed in detail in the article.

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Job is a seasoned writer with a good understanding of the emerging markets, Africa to be specific.


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