What is fibre, and why do you need it?

Being connected makes the world go round for many of us. It’s how we do our banking, meet our deadlines and keep up with our social media. That’s why running out of data always feels like the worse thing in the world, especially when TikTok is popping and there are series to be streamed. What’s worse, is that running out of data is all too common for locals when it costs as much as it does in South Africa. Fortunately, there are more affordable ways to stay connected and ensure you never run out of data at home again.

If you pick the right one, you can get high-speed uncapped fibre internet for just less than R500pm and become the TikTok influencer you were always destined to be. When you compare this to paying an average of R78.50 for a single gigabyte it’s easy to see why getting hooked to fibre is a no-brainer. Here’s a breakdown of the basics you need to know about fibre, and why you need it in your home

What is fibre?

Fibre is a form of internet connectivity that delivers dedicated high-speed data through glass cabling by literally using the speed of light and providing unlimited streaming.

Unlike mobile data, fibre isn’t affected by buildings, electrical signals (like power lines) or bad weather, making you less likely to experience downtime. Even when load shedding hits, fibre is able to stay up if you have an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) in your home. This makes fibre the most reliable internet connectivity solution available, placing it light years ahead of other home internet solutions.

It’s available in various packages and speeds, starting at affordable rates, all tailored to your needs and lifestyle. However, it’s important to note that to get fibre, you need two types of service providers to help you out – a Fibre Network Operator (FNO) and an Internet Service Provider (ISP).

What Are FNOs and ISPs?
FNOs are companies that own and manage fibre optic infrastructure, like Vuma. They’re the guys in pink you see digging or erecting poles to deliver fibre optic cables to homes in your community, as well as installing the fibre into your home.

ISPs on the other hand, are the service providers you order your fibre package from, so you can get connected to the internet. ISPs handle the day-to-day management of the fibre line, which includes dealing with technical issues and your billing account.

So, an FNO manages and owns the fibre cable infrastructure, while an ISP provides you, the customer, with connectivity to the internet service.

Why do you need fibre?
According to Stats SA, South Africa has 41 million active internet users and 28 million of them are active on social media. That means a lot of us spend a lot of time surfing the web, as the boomers say.

Having high-speed fibre internet is a fantastic way to keep your bills down and keep in touch with the world. These days South Africa’s electricity supply is less reliable than that one uncle’s old car and that means having to rely heavily on downloaded content. If you have to use your mobile data to download that content, then you may have to find yourself a glucose guardian to afford it. Load shedding has become the new reality in South Africa, and fibre connectivity is the most reliable way to keep connected with your loved ones and online resources, if you have a UPS or battery back up in your home. High-speed fibre connection not only ensures that your bill stays the same no matter how much content you download, it also ensures that even if a blackout strikes, you aren’t in the dark when it comes to still catching up on your favourite series and soapies, working or studying.

What’s more, all devices in the home, including smartphones, televisions, tablets and computers, can be connected through a single fibre connection, keeping the whole family online 24/7 at home. With fibre in your home, multiple people can stream their favourite shows in HD, connect to online learning tools, update all their apps and so much more, without constantly topping up on data bundles. Fibre allows you to enjoy more of the things you love without worrying about data costs again!

Where do you sign up for fibre?
If you haven’t placed your order yet, it is easy to choose a fibre package that suits your budget and needs to make sure you have the right connection in your home. Remember to check online for the various ISPs and find out which FNO connection is available in your area.
Check coverage in your area by simply visiting www.vumatel.co.za.

About Vuma
Vuma is a leading South African fibre provider that has passed more than one million homes since its operations began in 2014. Vuma connects South African communities to high-speed, fit-for-purpose internet through open-access fibre broadband. Working with more than 60 Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Vuma’s value extends beyond infrastructure and empowers ordinary individuals and communities across South Africa to do more, see more, and dream of more.

Guided by its philosophy of ‘if we can, we must’, Vuma strives to drive transformation and break communication barriers. The brand has connected more than 670 registered primary and high schools in the regions where it operates, to free 1Gbps fibre broadband internet. This supports hundreds of thousands of young people and their teachers through access to the boundless opportunities of the internet, in collaboration with its partner ISPs.

Among Vuma’s accolades are: South Africa’s Best Fibre Provider in 2019 at the MyBroadband Conference and Expo; Fastest Growing Broadband Provider in 2020 and Best Broadband Provider in 2021 by the International Business Magazine Awards; the Global Economics Award for Fastest Growing Telecommunications Company 2021; and Best Fibre Provider for 2021 by MyBroadband.

Vuma’s CEO, Dietlof Mare, was awarded Telecom CEO of the Year 2020 South Africa as well as Telecom CEO of the Year 2021 South Africa by the International Business Magazine Awards.

For more information, visit www.vuma.co.za