Noticed how your internet slows down or stops working completely during load shedding despite you having UPS for your devices at home? Today we want to try answer why this happens.

Load shedding not only affects us at our home, but it also affects fibre network operators (FNOs). When their infrastructures were built, they were not made to switch off and on as it frequently as they do now. However, network infrastructures are powered by backup solutions during power outages. The backup solutions are expensive to run and manage.

Different FNOs have different equipment. Others have manual backup solution which need to be manually turned on while the automatic ones sometimes lag in kicking in during power failure. We don’t have an audit of the type of backup equipment for every area with fibre, but we have been assured by FNOs that there are backup solutions for all areas.

There are factors like battery and other equipment theft that FNOs and mobile network providers are contending with. That also adds to the cost because they’ve had to resort to hiring their own security to guard the infrastructure. One more factor to mention is that at times the client’s home and the closest point of presence (this would be the little fibre box you see when you are driving down the road) don’t experience load-shedding at the same time. So if the load-shedding hits where the point of presence is sooner, by the time the client goes through load-shedding the backup solution that the FNO has in place is already running low on power since it supports a lot more devices.

These are the major factors for why load shedding affects your internet connection even with UPS. When purchasing UPS for the home, please bear in mind that there are external factors that are outside of your control which might still lead to you being unable to connect to the internet.

By Maserati Motloung