7 things everybody should know about Fibre Internet

Fibre Internet is the best type of connectivity available to homes and businesses today. It is the most reliable, affordable and fastest way to connect to the Internet, whether you need fibre to the home or a business package.

Fibre optics is a sustainable Internet connection solution, meaning we can never run out of Fibre and that there is enough to supply every area and home in South Africa. Fibre optic Internet works by using light to transfer data signals through glass threads. Fibre cables are not affected by the weather, the environment (like the sun or water), and is not affected by other signals. It also does not get stolen like copper cables do, meaning your Internet connection is less likely to be affected.e. Fibre has been readily available in South Africa since 2008 but is not yet available in all area. This is due to the fact that their high cost associated with the business’s when installations take place. If you are considering a Fibre connection for your home, there are a few things that you need to know.

Connection Speeds:

Every Internet provider has its own Fibre package deals that they put together and sell to the public. These packages vary drastically and are unique to each Internet Service Provider. One of the most important things of an Internet connection is the speed, and this plays a big role in the cost of the package. Fibre to the home speeds generally varies from 10Mbps to 200Mbps. Some Internet Service Providers offer even greater speeds (up to 1 Gbps). But generally, homes don’t require connection speeds of more than 50Mbps unless you are either running a business from home with a few employees or streaming high definition data non-stop. The speed of your Fibre line will greatly affect the cost of your package, so it is important to understand what your connection needs are in order to know what kind of line speed you need.

Uncapped Lines:

An Uncapped Fibre line offers you unlimited or ‘uncapped’ data, which means you cannot run out of data, so you will have unlimited access to the internet. Many service providers offer uncapped data packages but make use of line throttling or shaping. Line throttling means that your Internet Service Provider is reducing the speed of your line in order to keep you from using too much data. This is something that you will need to check when you choose your Fibre package.

Unshaped Lines: This is defining Throttling.

Shaping is very similar to throttling. Your Internet Service Provider will reduce the speed of your Internet connection when there are high data usage activities like excessive streaming, downloading or torrenting.  

Shaping will usually occur on heavy protocols such as torrenting, downloading and/or (excessive) streaming. This is done so that you can still enjoy the “full” speed of your Internet connection when browsing the web, emailing, chatting on social media and so on. Your line speed is technically reduced but is only noticeable on an application that has heavy bandwidth requirements.

Throttling and Shaping are very similar and at the end of the day, your line speed is slowed down in either of the two instances. Hence why the terms are often confused and used in the incorrect context by other ISP’s.

MyBroadBand proposes a very good explanation for throttling and shaping that can be seen below:

“Shaping is selectively reducing speed on what you do on the internet, such as torrent downloads (e.g. heavily shaped), Rapidshare downloads (shaped), and application downloads (slightly shaped). Throttling usually means they’ve seen you use a lot of data, say over their allocated limit for your line and then the ISP reduces speed for a period (I.S. bandwidth uses this concept). Usually, you get unshaped data at normal speed until they decide to throttle. The effect is the same = slow downloads. Often simple browsing is unaffected.”

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ISP Support and Service:

The kind of service and support your Internet Service Provider offers you, as a customer, should be one of the deciding factors of whether you sign a contract with them or not. BitCo offers 24/7 support to all of our customers, which means even when your connection fails at the worst of hours, we will be there to assist you.

Installation:

Fibre installation is a very simple process depending on whether your area has access to Fibre, or not. Should you not have access to Fibre in your area, you can order Fibre to be installed, which can take up to 4 weeks. However, if  Fibre is already installed in your home, we simply come to your home with a Router and connect you.

Hidden Costs:

It is important to understand the terms and fine print of your Internet Service Provider agreement, especially when it comes to hidden costs. Each Internet Service Provider is different. It is therefore important to understand your terms and conditions. If you are unsure, ask.

Contract Timelines:

Generally, Internet Service Providers offer 12 and 24-month packages. However, some Internet Service Providers may also offer 36-month contracts. It is important to read through the fine print and ask questions when you do not understand something. This will prevent any unnecessary frustration down the line.

BitCo offers a month-to-month agreement, with a calendar month’s notice should you decide to terminate your service with us.

If you are unsure of what kind of Fibre deal would be suited to your Fibre to the home needs, feel free to contact one of our sales representatives – we are always here to assist.

Check your home coverage here and let us help you guide you into which Home Fibre line you should be using!

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