Monday, 15 October 2018

Alternatives to Fibre?

    As mentioned in our previous post about our Richwood Fibre Initiative, many of us can not wait until our area will finally get connected via Fibre. Either due to our Job, usage of Netflix, multiple people household - or gaming, we are just not happy with ADSL.

    So what are the alternatives until we get FTTH? Luckily there are some:


    Yes, this seems obvious, but unfortunately only applies to those lucky who can at least get 10Mbit ADSL or VDSL (20 or 40Mbit).

    • Pros:
      • semi-available (speeds differ from street to street - e.g. VDSL won't be available everywhere in Richwood)
    • Cons:
      • dependent of Telkom (think twice about this)
      • requires a DSL Line
      • higher latency
      • no guaranteed bandwidth
      • relatively expensive
    • Costs: R1767 for a bundled and uncapped/unthrottled VDSL line from Afrihost


    Again, high-speed coverage may vary. Very flexible installation though. Anyone with experience on how well Netflix works on LTE?

    • Pros:
      • cheapest solution
      • easiest to setup (e.g. no installation needed)
    • Cons:
      • unreliable / speeds can differ greatly
      • no uncapped nor unthrottled offerings
    • Costs: R799 for a throttled and capped package from Telkom

    Wireless (Wifi point-to-point)

    You guessed it: no coverage guaranteed (see how important FTTH is?)

    • Pros:
      • available
      • guaranteed bandwidth
      • low latency
      • if you can spend the money, you can achieve 100 Mbit already now
    • Cons:
      • can be unstable (due to interferences)
      • most expensive
      • quite intensive/complex installation required
    • Costs: R1553 for a 20Mbit uncapped/unthrottled Line from Wibre
    • Please see this following thread for some recommendations:

    Please use the comments below to share your experience :)

    Tuesday, 9 October 2018

    Richwood Fibre Internet Initiative

      Dear Richwooders, kindly join our Facebook Group: if you are interested in receiving faster, better & cheaper internet via a fibre connection to your home (FTTH).
      Let's use that Group to organise ourselves as a collective and finally get heard by last-mile fibre providers such as: Vumatel, Frogfoot or Octotel.

      What is Fibre Internet?

      Traditionally your home is connected via a copper-line (Telkom owned) to a network. That copper-line is not only used for your telephone (POTS - plain old telephone system) but also for data (ADSL/VDSL).

      Fibre Internet - or better known as "Fibre to the Home" (FTTH) connects homes via a fibre optic cable network. It is completely digital and meant to only transport digital data, with voice/telephone being done via data as well (VOIP).

      You can completely get rid of your Telkom line once you switch over to fibre.

      Why do I need it?

      Fibre is a much more reliable medium than copper. Data on a fibre optics cable has less interference and can transport much more data. In short, some of the key advantages:

      • higher bandwidths possible than any other medium
      • no interference, no matter how far your home is to the next connecting point
      • lowest possible latency
      • ideal for Netflix!

      Why should I get it?

      Apart from the general advantages above, specifically for us Richwooders we would benefit greatly from:
      • higher internet speeds
      • generally cheaper data packages
      • more reliable connection
      • freedom of choice on data packages (as this is offered by various competing companies)

      How can I get Fibre Connected?

      1. Join our Facebook Group so we can quantify people who are interested:
      2. Show Interest for Octotel (Enter your address to get started -> Show your Interest -> Fill in your details)
      3. Show Interest for Frogfoot (we are still working on getting their contact details)
      4. Show Interest for Vumatel (Enter your address -> Show my Interest -> Enter details)

      When will Richwood be connected to the Fibre Internet?

      Unfortunately we can not give any ETA yet. The Facebook Group was created to connect with people with the same interests. Installing FTTH is unfortunately not cheap and roads have to be dug up, which is why we need to show greater interest towards companies such as Vumate, Frogfoot or Octotel so they will invest in our neighbourhood.

      The good news: Richwood is surrounded on both roads (N7 + Tygerberg Valley Rd) with Dark Fibre. Additionally surrounding areas are already getting connected (Table View, Burgundy Estate, Bothasig, etc.) - so technically and physically it is very much possible.

      It's now on ISPs to catch-up on our area.

      What is it going to cost me?

      Packages will differ depending on which provider will connect our neighbourhood. As an example though:
      • 20 Mbit Wifi from Wibre/PCN: R1553 per month (uncapped)
      • 90 Mbit LTE from Telkom: R799 per month (capped + throttled after certain usage, speeds will vary)
      • 40 Mbit VDSL from Afrihost: R1767 per month (uncapped) 
      • 100/100 Mbit Fibre from Frogfoot + PCN: R999 per month (uncapped)
      It is very clear that Fibre will give the cheapest, fastest and most reliable internet connection compared to other mediums.

      What are the alternatives?

      Check out the following blog-post for more information on alternative internet solutions to fibre for our area.

      Lets though pray that we won't have to use an alternative for too much longer ;)