Fibre optic internet connectivity has weaved its way into big business in South Africa, but the superior performance of this internet capability should not be restricted to the corporate sector alone. All the associated benefits that fibre brings to the larger workplace can be transferred across to small business, with overall cost-savings the biggest win.
Fibre for small businesses
When it comes to deciding on fibre options, there are many service providers, but essentially two types of fibre connections:
1. Fibre to the node (FTTN) – there is fibre optic connection to your area, although the connection directly to your business premises is not necessarily fibre optic. While this means improved internet performance, it is not quite the fastest option available.
2. Fibre to the premises (FTTP) – there is a fibre connection to your area, as well as a fibre connection directly to your business premises, making it the fastest fibre option.
The reason that so many people are choosing fibre – for big business and small – is because there are a number of business-enhancing benefits. While you might be asking ‘what’s the catch?’ you’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that there is none. Fibre is simply a better product that has come onto the market and will, most likely, replace the older network versions.
Reliability – Unlike the older copper cables which were vulnerable to theft and general interference, the glass fibre cables are sturdier, have no black-market value and are able to withstand electrical interference. Fibre optic connections are built to last decades – some have already been in use for more than 30 years.
Speed – One of the biggest selling factors for fibre is the incredible speed. Compared with the copper-based cables, fibre can upload and download large files almost instantly. There are various speed options to consider for any small business, with internet service providers generally referring to speeds of 5/1, 10/1, 30/5, and 50/10. The speed your business needs will depend on these factors:
• The number of people using the connection.
• The type of uploads and downloads needed.
• The type and number of devices using the connection.
• The connection available in your area.
Bandwidth – As well as increased speed, fibre has increased bandwidth which means that all manner of devices – laptops, tablets, phones – can work off the fibre optic without affecting the connection.
Security – As mentioned previously, fibre optic cables are safe from interference because they’re almost completely hack-proof. While internet services can be stolen via a copper line, a fibre network cannot be accessed in the same way. The fibre cable would need to be cut and this would shut down the system completely. Fibre connections are also not shared with other businesses meaning more layers of security.
Read more: Best business fibre providers
The increased number of fibre service providers countrywide means that prices are going down – a bonus for all small business owners. This also means more choice. Just make sure you choose a provider with experience and extensive knowledge of fibre capabilities, particularly within your area. When it comes to pricing, here’s what to expect:
• For 10GB of data at 4Mbps, the cost starts at about R200 per month.
• For 300GB of data at 4Mbps, the cost is up to R549 per month.
• For uncapped, 4Mbps ranges from R400 to R700 per month.
• For 50Mbps, the cost ranges from R900 for 100GB to R1 300 for 300GB.
• For uncapped data at 100Mbps, costs are about R2 900 per month.
As a small business owner, it’s likely that you will be looking at the first three options when it comes to fibre, however, it’s worth checking that your internet service provider will allow you to scale up or down depending on needs – at no additional cost.
ECN is a leading telecommunications partner in South Africa. ECN offers a broad set of cost effective voice, data and hosted services to meet our customers ever growing technological needs. Our market leading fibre solutions provide our customers with many options to suit their needs and pockets. Contact ECN today for leading telecommunications solutions.