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What is Fibre and how does it differ from ADSL?

Fibre is rolling out across South Africa connecting more and more people to faster, more stable Internet. Today we’re going to talk about what Fibre is and how it differs from traditional copper DSL.

Traditional DSL Internet

In the early 2000s, South Africa started offering the internet to homes and businesses. DSL used the existing telephone lines to transmit data, which were usually made of copper. DSL line speeds range from 2Mbps to a maximum of 40Mbps.

The biggest downfall of copper DSL lines are:

  • Copper is valuable and thieves like to steal the lines to sell on the black market.
  • Weather affects the quality of copper Internet connections. So if there is a storm in the area, the Internet might slow down.
  • The further away you are from the termination point, the lower the speeds. So if your house is at the end of the street, it might get slower DSL speeds than the house that is right next to the termination box.

The Fibre revolution

This is where Fibre optical cables come in. Fibre Internet for the home was introduced to South Africa in 2014 and is available in more areas across South Africa.

How do Fibre optic cables differ from traditional copper lines?

  • Fibre optic cables use small glass fibres to transmit data using pulses of light.
  • The light travels much like electricity would through a copper wire, but the advantage is that Fibre cables can carry multiple signals at once.
  • They’re incredibly small, so they’re often bundled into larger cables called Fibre optic trunk cables, each containing multiple Fibre lines.
  • Fibre cables carry huge amounts of data and can reach speeds of up to 1Gbps - 25 times faster than the fastest DSL.
  • And best of all Fibre cables are not affected by weather or distance from the termination box - so your internet connection should be more stable and faster.

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Article by
Conrad d

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