6 Surprising things you need to know about Fibre internet

It’s hard to find the kind of information you need to know before making a decision about crossing over to Fibre internet, and which ISP to go with.

Here are 6 surprising things you need to know before taking the leap:

#1 Not all areas in South Africa have Fibre coverage

It’s easy to think that all you have to do to get business Fibre internet is find an ISP that offers Fibre internet.

But not every location in South Africa has Fibre coverage yet. Although most ISPs in South Africa offer Fibre, they may not all have the same coverage, or you could be located in an area that has no Fibre coverage at all. In that case, your best bet is ADSL or wireless internet.

Check whether your location has Fibre coverage.

#2 Just because it’s Fibre does not mean it’s faster

We tend to think that moving to Fibre means faster speeds, but this is incorrect.

While Fibre may be faster than ADSL, it really depends on the Fibre internet package you choose; the higher the megabits per second (Mbps) the faster your connection. This is why our lowest Fibre package starts at 10 Mbps and our fastest one is 1 Gbps. And so it is the megabits that determine speed, whether you’re on Wifi, DSL or Fibre.

What is different with Fibre internet is the reliability of your connection and speed; Fibre speed – unlike the other internet options – is not affected by other factors.

There is one other consideration…when an ISP offers Fibre, check what connects the last mile, because that also determines speed. Fibre is not affected by adverse conditions such as weather, but other types of connections can be.

#3 The wait for Fibre can be lengthy

Every ISP varies in how long it takes to get Fibre installed, and different locations may take longer than others. For instance, BitCo has something called, “Smart Fibre Communities”, and if your business is situated in any of those locations, installation is faster (about 6 weeks) and cheaper.

Depending on the scenario, you may need routers; some providers install them for you as a free service and some charge extra. BitCo manages the entire process. For business Fibre, deployment can take up to 8 months because of infrastructure planning and the need for engaging with local municipalities, not to mention the actual physical work required, like digging and laying the Fibre optic cables.

We can’t speak for other providers, but BitCo offers an alternative solution to your business need not experience any delays while you wait.

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#4 SA ISPs are known for poor customer service

Besides speed, the support offered by the ISP is single-handedly the most important element when deciding which ISP to go with. Because once the Fibre has been laid and everything installed, it’s the technical support and service that will either cause immense frustration or a sigh of relief.

And let’s just be real for a moment. ISPs in South Africa are not renown for exceptional service. Maybe it’s because ISP companies are full of technical people who place emphasis on the technical instead of people skills, who knows?

But we at BitCo fully realise the frustrations that many businesses face with after-service from the majority of South African ISPs, and this is one of the reasons we pride ourselves on managing our products and infrastructure, making us solely responsible for technical support and service. After 12 years in the business, we know by now what’s important to clients, and our service is what sets us apart.

We also offer various SLA’s just to make sure that we are held accountable.

#5 Don’t allow for vague uptime promises

Before selecting an ISP, be sure to get a guaranteed operational uptime; for example, BitCo guarantees an operational uptime of 99%, which means that throughout the year.

Avoid any ISP who is vague about providing a solid uptime/downtime number.

#6 Service is often poor due to 3rd parties

ISPs which make use of third parties are really only as good as those third parties allow them to be.

And this is where problems come in as far as service is concerned: the majority of ISPs rely on third parties for most of their services, so they have no control over service delivery and can’t take much responsibility for poor service levels.

Look for an ISP that manages its own services and products, and preferably its own network, as BitCo does.

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

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