Not all Fibre prices are created equally.
In most cases, there’s a lot of reading between the lines that need to happen to get the real price of Fibre for businesses.
Price and service differ from ISP to ISP. What may appear to be a good deal, is not always the case.
This article acts as a guide as to what influences business Fibre prices, which should be higher than residential prices, for the sake of reliability and speed.
When mobile phones first hit South Africa (not that long ago), only the elite could afford them, but it didn’t take long before everyone could get one.
Demand drives price. So the more businesses that turn to Fibre, the lower the price becomes.
South Africa’s data costs remain among the highest worldwide, although according to World Wide Worx, there is a huge increase in the number of internet users. This is of course, as a result of the government’s initiative which has a goal to connect 22 million South Africans by 2020. And their choice of connection is Fibre.
The more companies start seeing the benefits of Fibre to the business, the more that number will increase too, and currently, there is a push amongst providers, to offer business Fibre. This will result in a drop in Fibre prices, just as demand dropped the price of cell phones.
Fibre optic infrastructure
Fibre is undoubtedly the best choice for internet connection, but the problem right now is that not all businesses can get it because Fibre coverage is very much dependent on location.
This makes business Fibre pricier than it should be, but that won’t be the case forever…
Currently, metropolitan areas have up to 67.7% coverage, while surrounding areas have about 32.3% (this does not include rural areas which would be even less). (Source: ECN)
The good news though, is that the government is pushing for connectivity and Fibre optic is the chosen solution.
While Government has good goals, the Fibre optic roll-out is a costly business. This cost would be absorbed by the companies who own the infrastructure, who will more than likely ramp up their monthly prices in order to recover the cost.
You’ve got to watch ISP’s.
To keep business Fibre prices down, they often include fast download speeds (for movie streaming, loading websites like Facebook and browsing) and slower upload speeds (usually for the purposes of creating and sending content out). This is done for both Fibre to the Home and Business.
In addition, if you own a home business, you may think you’re getting a good deal, but residential connections may be throttled. Find out how some major ISPs shape their packages. An ISP may advertise the download speed and not the upload speed, so you’ve got to watch for that.
Business Fibre prices, however, increase when speed is uncontended and synchronous, as in the case of BitCo’s business Fibre packages. What this means is that both download and upload speeds remain the same, making the connection more reliable and the speed, consistent.
The other way that speed influences price is how fast the line is. The faster the speed, the more expensive it becomes.
Uncapped + uncontended
Uncapped is another sneaky method ISPs use to reduce cost. The sneakiness is mostly applied to residential Fibre, but if you work from home, this will impact the quality of your internet connection.
Uncapped Fibre is almost always offered conditionally. If it’s not offered together with an uncontended line
Essentially, if the line is uncontended, it means that the speed is not affected by traffic. When the line is uncontended, it is more expensive because you can count on the speed to be the same at all times, instead of slowed down either for some sites or for all sites.
Service & Service Level Agreements
If your business Fibre package offers a Service Level Agreement (SLA), it is likely to be more expensive, because an SLA is your guarantee for good service. If an ISP offers a cheaper service for businesses but does not produce an SLA, be wary.
ISPs won’t commit to something they can’t deliver on.
These charts offer comparisons between some of the best business Fibre packages in South Africa.
Speaking of service…the price of the package will also vary based on after sales support. Things to find out are: hours of support, whether support is outsourced to a third party (the service is not likely to be dynamite with this option), and whether contracts are offered to guarantee response time and so on.
Discover what to look for in service providers after sales support.
Here’s an example of how ISPs package their deals:
BitCo offers speeds of 10Mbps to 1 Gbps. All their business Fibre packages are uncontended, uncapped and synchronous, with a guaranteed operational uptime of 99%. Prices start from R2995 and this line’s speed is ideal for up to 10 people using the internet at the same time.
Now let’s compare it to another ISP who uses an Open Access Operator to offer uncapped, unshaped business Fibre for R1899. That’s basically R1000 less than BitCo, but here’s the catch…download speed is 10 Mbps while upload speed is 5 Mbps, so this package is not synchronous, while BitCo’s is. In addition, there is no guaranteed uptime or SLA. While 10 people can be online at the same time with the BitCo deal, 10 people on the Open Access Providers deal has the potential to be problematic.
You may be interested in BitCo’s current Promotion; you can save up to R217 000 over the term of the contract, and every deal is uncapped, uncontented, synchronous, with guaranteed operational uptimes and 24/7 after sales support by our own technical team.
Take our online connectivity guide to find the perfect solution for your business!