South Africa ditching ADSL: What this means for fibre

In South Africa, ADSL will soon be discontinued. ADSL internet connections, which use outdated technology, are being phased out in favour of fibre. Citizens won’t have the option to have ADSL internet soon, as fibre internet is replacing it as the new normal for connectivity at home or at the office.

Copper phone lines are used to deliver ADSL internet. These cables are susceptible to theft and damage. This causes connectivity issues or prolonged downtime as technicians attempt to restore service. Fibre, on the other hand, uses a fibre optic cable network that is significantly more durable, reliable and stable. As ADSL connectivity becomes obsolete, the market for fibre optics is expected to grow exponentially.

South Africa’s discontinuation of ADSL

In a number of metropolitan and residential locations, ADSL has already been disabled. Residents and business owners are switching to fibre as soon as it becomes accessible. Even though Telkom promises not to disconnect ADSL customers who don’t have access to fibre, these locations are now few and far between.

The decommissioning of ADSL is widespread. In the near future, even Telkom intends to switch its entire network from copper to fibre optics. Fast fibre adoption rates show how the digital generation favours these next-generation technologies. In comparison to fibre, copper broadband is less capable, flexible and reliable.

Fibre vs ADSL 

Computers, televisions and phone systems can connect to the internet using fibre optic technology. Light signals travelling via glass fibres are used to transmit data. Fibre optic cables are much more robust and reliable even though they are much thinner than metal ADSL cables. Higher bandwidth is supported by fibre optics, which also enables faster data transmission over greater distances.

Users save money and benefit from fewer connection issues. Users of ADSL must pay for their phone line in addition to their internet connection, which can cost upwards of R700 per month. A 25 Mbps fibre connection will cost on average R500 per month.

With ADSL, users are bound by lengthy contracts – typically 36 months. Reputable internet service providers (ISPs) offer month-to-month fibre contracts with no installation fees and upgrades or cancellations at any time.

South Africans are choosing fibre

South Africa has experienced a tremendous increase in internet traffic over the past few years. We’ve started watching more movies and television shows online, playing more games and making more video calls. We need a fast internet connection with symmetrical download and upload speeds in order to make the most of these activities. 

ADSL connections generally have different upload and download speeds. Additionally, the entire network slows down as more users connect to the copper cables. The number of users has no effect on fibre. It can deliver speeds of up to 1 Gbps!

Replacing ADSL with a fibre connection

Internet performance and speed are inconsistent due to South Africa’s deteriorating copper network. An essential upgrade to South Africa’s digital economy is provided by fibre technologies. Fibre infrastructure supports digital lifestyle and communication platforms, remote work, smart homes and offices and e-learning.

As soon as fibre becomes available, entire neighbourhoods and residential estates switch to it. World-class fibre delivered directly to residents’ homes increases a property’s value. Fibre internet is preferred by landlords, homeowners and property developers because it attracts buyers and tenants.

What about LTE?

South Africans are exploring alternative internet options, such as LTE, as ADSL nears its end. This type of connection uses mobile phone networks and is popular in areas where fibre optic infrastructure is still under construction. It makes little sense for people who live in more suburban areas to have a mobile connection.

LTE contracts are usually capped packages. This means that the amount of data you can use each month is limited. You will either be disconnected if you exceed your limit or you will have to pay out-of-bundle rates. There are no use restrictions when using a reputable fibre provider. You can have as much screen time at your specified line speed as you like as all of their packages are uncapped and unthrottled.


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Written by Taryn Hill

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