11 Feb 2019

8 Ways that fibre to your home will save you money, your sanity and add value to your life

8 Ways that fibre to your home will save you money, your sanity and add value to your life

Super connected world possible through fibre internetWe live in a super-connected world with software, services, education, entertainment, music, shopping and cloud connectivity all available at the click of a mouse.  With the power of superfast and reliable fibre connectivity rolling out in homes across the country, accessing these services now comes at a fraction of the eye-watering costs of mobile data, LTE and other wireless broadband connections.

“Having a reliable and fast fibre internet connection means you can now get serious about canning expensive entertainment subscription services and data contracts and get a lot more bang for your buck.  The faster speeds, minimal interruption and consistency of a fibre connection also means that you won’t be at the mercy of lousy weather and lightning strikes as is often the case with older technology.  The bottom line is that a fibre internet connection provides you with a lot more choice and quality of services, a lot faster, for a whole lot less of your hard-earned cash,” explains Linda Morris of Smart Technology Centre (STC), a leading internet service provider (ISP) and IT technology partner.

STC offers a list of eight compelling options to explore with your new superfast fibre internet connection, saving you a small fortune by opening a world of choice:

  • Video on Demand

Before fibre internet, chances are you were forking out a hefty sum for a pay TV subscription every month – and for your efforts you got unending programme repeats, inconvenient scheduling, aggravating ad breaks and nauseating self-promotional campaigns.  And let’s face it, public broadcasting isn’t exactly silver screen stuff.  With fibre internet, you can subscribe to multiple streaming services at an absolute fraction of the cost of a DSTV subscription – with access to series, movies, documentaries, music and exclusive content. Think Netflix, Showtime, Showmax and Classic Cinema Online to mention just a byteful – watch what you want, when you want to – and the choices and depth of content are mind-blowing.  For streaming newbies, the excitement is probably on par with how Charlie Bucket felt when he discovered the last golden ticket to let rip in Willie Wonka’s chocolate factory. As a last tempting titbit, your fibre line is impervious to weather, meaning that there are no annoying ‘signal’ interruptions as is the case with satellite TV, and you won’t wait weeks to have your ADSL line repaired either.

Streaming Videos and Music with fast fibre internet by smart technology centre

  • Music streaming

If your city was built on rock and roll, then you’ll love the many music streaming avenues that your fibre line provides – some at a minimal subscription and some at no cost at all.  These include Spotify, Joox, iTunes, Google Play Music and YouTube among many others.  Live stream or subscribe to a premium version to download and store your favourite tracks and artists to listen without an internet connection later – no more spending money on Neolithic CDs and DVDs.  Anyone been in a CD store lately?


  • Online Shopping

Online shopping allows you to buy anything from a car and cell phone, to jeans, knickers and groceries. No more queuing and spending time chasing specials and price comparisons – you can do it all online without leaving your couch, in mere minutes.  Many online shopping outlets offer free delivery over a certain spend and free returns if you’re not entirely blown away with your purchase.  You’ll also save a small packet by avoiding the impulse buying that happens when you walk down the store aisles.  Retailers such as Pick ‘n Pay and Woolworths allow you to draw up a handy online shopping list which you can revisit with every shop, and simply add to or deduct from for those regular monthly groceries – so you save time, money, petrol and trolley rage.

  • Safety and Security

With an uncapped fibre line, you can become the original big brother by connecting safety and security devices such as your alarm system and CCTV cameras to the web, allowing you to remotely access these feeds via a smart device or computer.  While this functionality is not new, it is a great deal more attainable with a fast, reliable and affordable fibre internet solution.


  • The Connected Home

Ever heard of a smart house that can have your cuppa jo ready and waiting, turn on the oven, draw the curtains and switch on the lights and aircon before you get home?  With a fibre internet connection you can step into the future and have all your appliances in your home synchronised to suit your lifestyle and comings and goings.


  • Online Education

E-learning brings flexibility, interaction and access to digital learning materials and the opportunity to participate in international courses and programmes. In a traditional bricks and mortar tertiary education environment, there are many hard costs beyond the tuition fees such as student accommodation, meals, transport, fuel, toll fees, vehicle insurance, textbooks and so on.  Thanks to online learning, much of these costs can be alleviated.  Most crucially, the internet holds the most extensive collection of academic material in the world.  Lectures are recorded and broadcast online, experts are online with documentaries and discussion forums, and for the most part, education today demands that students conduct much of their research online.  The underlying technology that makes all this possible is a high-speed, reliable internet connection that families can actually afford – a far cry from the situation just 5 or 10 years ago.

  • Reliable

Not only is your fibre line lightning fast, but it’s lightning proof as well, as optic fibre cable does not conduct a current – saving you the hassle of downtime and outages as a result of lightning strikes.  Another perk is that a fibre line contains no copper so is unlikely to be stolen – copper theft has become somewhat of a national sport in SA – but with fibre you get sustained, uninterrupted connectivity 24/7.


It’s hard to believe that it was just ten years ago that having internet access became as essential to life as electricity and water.  There’s very little you can do today without an email address and decent internet connection – so next time you’re tapping your fingers waiting for a webpage to load or your file transfer to happen, remember how far we have come since the days of the dial-up modem, and how much further you can go with reliable fibre to the home.

Share this
25 Jan 2019

Fibre to the Home – What you need to know before you sign up with an ISP

Fibre to the Home – What you need to know before you sign up with an ISP

Fibre to the home Smart Technology Centre

Fibre to the home (FTTH) is rolling out in suburbs across South Africa at a rapid rate, promising lightning fast internet speeds, a world of connectivity and online in-home entertainment options not yet experienced since the Jurassic Park advent of copper lines and ADSL.
Once you get over the trenching, messy pavements and lumpy driveways courtesy of the fibre infrastructure provider, and you’ve done your homework on the best internet service provider (ISP) to provide the actual interconnectivity via your fibre line – Netflix binges become a reality, along with a veritable treasure chest of YouTube and Google knowledge, music and movie downloads, online gaming, skype chats with far-flung family and friends, lighting fast downloads and uploads and cloud storage and back-up for your documents, photos and videos – you name it and the internet becomes your oyster.
Linda Morris of Smart Technology Centre (STC), a leading internet service provider and IT technology partner says that an internet connection that delivers on speed, availability, security and data integrity is no longer a ‘nice to have’ option at home, but has now become a necessity in our tech-driven lives.

“Fibre to the home opens up a world of entertainment, education and learning, music, transacting, work-from-home flexibility, security and remote monitoring, and IoT for connected devices that are all increasingly fundamental to our daily lives. Your computer, smart phone, TV, tablet and even your home appliances like fridges and security camera systems are increasingly using data and requiring high-speed internet connectivity. FTTH is becoming an essential utility, much like water and electricity,” says Linda.
“Of course, the proviso to all of this working flawlessly comes with one really important caveat –choosing the right internet service provider (ISP) before you sign. While it’s true that the steps to getting fibre to your home are not always plain sailing, as there are many role players and steps involved, knowing what to expect, who is involved in the process, and what the important things are to look out for will streamline the process considerably,” explains Linda.
Smart Technology Centre provides some key pointers on what to expect when getting FTTH:
Installing the infrastructure
• Once your suburb is approved for fibre and the necessary wayleaves have been granted by the local council, the infrastructure provider commences building the backbone network – this is typically a fibre ring which feeds the fibre from a centrally placed distribution node to every block in the suburb.
• This is where the trenching of pavements and driveways begins – and many residents tend to lose their sense of humour, albeit temporarily. Infrastructure providers do go to great lengths to restore the area to its original state and within a few weeks of completion, your pavement and driveway should be back to normal.
• Each street in the suburb is then linked up to the backbone network and gets ‘fibred’. As each customer signs up for service, the fibre is then taken from the distribution box on the street boundary wall to a point inside your home, typically following the shortest route possible.
• Finally, your chosen Internet Service Provider (ISP) who provides your internet connectivity and bills you every month for the service, will install a Wi-Fi router in your home and get you connected to the internet.
It’s really important to point out that ISPs are not all equal in terms of service, pricing, back-up and support and quality of connection. Smart Technology Centre provides the following tips and questions to ask before you sign up with an ISP:
• Equipment: Does the ISP package include the cost of a Wi-Fi router and installation or is this an additional once off cost? Every ISP has a different way of entering into an agreement with you. Some will provide the fibre router that you need to connect to the port in your wall at no extra cost if you sign a contract for a set period. Others will only provide the service with no set contract and operate on a month-to-month basis – you will need to purchase the fibre router at an additional cost. Note that any existing ADSL or LTE Wi-Fi router that you may have will not work on a fibre line as the technology is different. It is also important that not all Wi-Fi routers are the same, the less expensive options typically have a smaller throughput for bandwidth.

FTTH equipment Smart Technology Centre

• Installation: Does your ISP complete the set-up process for you? Unless you’re a tech-fundi, get your ISP to install the router and connect it to the fibre and make sure it’s working correctly and protected with passwords so only authorised people can hop onto your home network. To distribute wireless within your home, you may want to consider adding access points to extend the range of the wireless network from the router. Get your ISP to check and advise you accordingly. It may even be preferable to install LAN cables from the router to connect to your access points, XBOX or Smart TV. This is where most ISPs really differentiate, in that the majority do not offer home support, or advice on how to obtain the maximum benefit from your fibre connection within your smart home.

• Support: It is important to consider the level of support you can expect post installation. Look at whether your ISP has a call centre available to field support calls, or any other way that you can engage in the event of a problem or technical query.

• What line speed do I need? You have a choice of how fast you want your line to be. This is measured in Megabits per Second (Mbps) ranging from anything between 10 – 100 Mbps. Bear in mind that the faster the line, the higher the cost. As a good rule of thumb, look at what your current connection speed is and what you will be using the line for to decide what will work optimally for your home. If you’re not into TV streaming, online gaming or downloading and uploading big files, a 10mbps line will do, but if you’re internet-hungry you may want a much faster internet connection at 50 or even 100Mbps. The number of devices using the connection also matters – the more connected devices, the greater the line speed to accommodate all the traffic. Also check whether you can you easily upgrade to a higher line speed in a matter of minutes if your needs change, or will you be bound for the duration of the contract before you can upgrade? Does your ISP offer symmetrical upload and download speeds – if you have a 50meg line, are your upload and download speeds the same?

• Data: You also have a choice on the amount of data you want access to a month. Your ISP will typically give the option of a capped line where you can choose data bundles or an uncapped line that has no limit. Cost once again comes into play in this decision. If you are just planning on surfing the web to look at photos and listen to the odd song or two, a capped line will work. A capped package means your data will be limited and once you reach it, you will need to top up, usually at a higher out-of-package rate. If you are planning on streaming movies, gaming, using entertainment portals like Netflix and so on, an uncapped line will serve you better. While some ISPs provide an uncapped package, they may have a ‘fair usage’ policy that ‘throttles’ your speed if you overshoot their fair usage limits. An uncapped package gives you far more flexibility, and typically is cheaper than your capped packages, albeit may be a small speed. Most ISPs have an online portal which lets you see how much data you’re using.

• What are the contention ratios like? Low contention ratios ensure a higher quality of service because there are less subscribers using the same line.

“Be wary of basing your entire ISP decision on the first available connection date or price. Each FTTH provider is affiliated with one or several Internet Service Providers (ISPs) that will actually manage your fibre line connection. The ISP you choose will ultimately shape what your fibre line will deliver, such as the speed of the line, whether it is capped or not, the back-up you will receive and monthly cost,” explains Linda.

“The fact that South Africa’s fibre network is mostly built on the principles of open access means that you have a choice as a consumer of who you want your FTTH provider or ISP to be. You have the ability to change either of the two if infrastructure in your area allows, which leaves fibre users absolutely spoilt for choice, shifting the power to the consumer,” concludes Linda.

For more information go to https://www.stc.za.com/ftth/

Share this

© 2018 Smart Technology Centre Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.

Click Me