Fibre FAQ Guide

Jacques du Rand 2019-04-20

Q:I am completely lost and don’t know anything about fibre. What do I need for fibre?

It’s not your fault! It can be a complex situation with fibre networks, routers, ONT/CPE devices and fibre isps. This very short summary will get you started. Fibre What You Need To Know

Q:Do I need a Telkom line for fibre ?

No, but you do need to have Fibre Coverage in your area. You will need to be covered by one of the fibre networks, like Vumatel or Openserve

Q:What is a Fibre Network and Fibre ISP?

Fibre networks (Vumatel, OpenServe, Frogfoot etc) are the "infrastructure providers" that owns the fibre in the ground around your house. There are usually only one and you need to make very sure which one it is. You can use our Fibre Coverage Map to identify the network around your house.

Fibre ISPs is the "service provider" that provides internet service on top of the fibre networks. You usually only pay the fibre isp (they will pay the fibre network on your behalf)

Some of the best fibre ISPs are Webafrica, Vox and Home-Connect

Q:Can I get fibre?

Check for coverage on the map, this will check for Vumatel, OpenServe, Frogfoot, Octotel and many of the smaller fibre networks in your area.

If you can’t get fibre there might be LTE (wireless internet coverage) or ADSL available.

Q:Do I need a fibre router?

Probably not. Most isps will provide you with a modem on signup or you could use your old ADSL wifi router provided that it has a WAN (ethernet in) port usually a different color one.

See our article Do You Need A Fibre Modem for more details.

The networks will usually give you a "Fibre ONT/CPE" device with the installation - free of charge.

Q:Is Openserve the same as Telkom ?

Yes, Openserve is a division of Telkom and Openserve is the brand and name of their fibre network. You can have Openserve fibre with ANY of the fibre ISPs that offer packages for it. You don’t need to go with Telkom.

Q:How much speed do I need for streaming?

Less than you think. Netflix themself states that for HD you only need 5Mbps.

We have created a handy formula and chart for you to workout how much speed you need

To determine the internet speed you need for your household you can read our article about fibre speed.

Q:What is the difference between Vumatel and Openserve ?

These are both fibre networks and the biggest two in the South Africa. Openserve is a division of Telkom and Vumatel are the new kids on the block in terms of fibre options.

Q:Which is the best fibre isp ?

We based our assessment on the amount of "pain emails" and feedback we get from our users and the popularity of the packages. Your mileage may vary but we have found these fibre isps to be the best *most of the time*: Webafrica, Vox or Home-Connect

Q:What are the cost for fibre installation ?

These can be tricky but here is a general breakdown:

Installation cost: This is the cost for installing the actual "fibre line" from the sidewalk into your home. These are outsourced most of the time to fibre companies like Nano Fibre.

The cost can be anywhere from R1000 to R2800 depending on the network and length of fibre cable from the street to the home.

This will most of the time also include a fibre modem and fibre ONT/CPE device (you will need both).

Activation fee: (Some Networks) like Vumatel charges for this. (We not sure why)

Setup fee(Some ISPs) Not to be confused with Installation Fees. Can be anything as stupid as "modem setup" or sending email with activation and account information.

Q:What about "Free Installation Promos" ?

Be careful ! Many of those packages, even though they are month-to-month if you should cancel within 12 months you will be liable for the installation costs which you got for free. Yes we know its sneaky but somewhat understandable since the cost of installation and two devices (modem and fibre ont) can be expensive.

Q:Why is my internet slow when streaming ?

Depends what you are streaming ? Netflix, Youtube, Showmax or Pirate Streaming (we all do from time to time). The litmus test we use ourself is to stream Youtube or Netflix they both got excellent streaming infrastructure, if any of those two are working your internet and isp is perfect. If you are buffering when streaming from the pirates sites, most likely it's the pirates sites that can’t keep up with demand and no amount of upgrading your line will help.

Q:Is my internet tax deductible ?

Yes , See our Fibre and Tax guide

Q:How can I do a internet speed test:

There are many a great local internet speed tests but we put together a portal of different International Speed Tests

Since most of the content you are likely to consume are international we feel it's a more honest reading of your true internet speed. Applicable to fibre, adls or LTE connections.

Q:What is the best router ?

We have a done great study on Which Fibre Router Is The Best should you wish to upgrade from the one provided by your ISP.

You can also look at the more modern Mesh Wifi Routers if you want to easily cover your whole house with fibre internet.

Q:How long does fibre installation usually take?

Depends on the network as most of these installations are being contracted out. The usual waiting period can range from 7 days to 3 weeks. "Fast Fibre Takes Time :("

Q:Is fibre better than LTE ?

Most definitely yes! You will get a much more consistent experience and less interference.

It will also work out cheaper for most speed and data packages.

Q:How can I improve my LTE signal

Get a Great LTE Antenna to boost your signal.