ADSL & FIBRE

Comparing ADSL & Fibre

Fibre internet started rolling out in 2015 in South Africa – allowing many users the convenience of faster and more reliable internet connections.

But how exactly does fibre internet differ from ADSL? Let’s have a look!

ADSL

ADSL is a broadband connection that works through the copper cables of existing phone lines.

PROS
  • Widely available in South Africa
  • ISPs can offer competitive speeds for users that are not overactive internet users
  • There is a variety of capped and uncapped options available

CONS

  • Your ADSL speed is in direct correlation to the distance between your home and the Telkom Exchange
  • Vulnerable to electrical interference
  • Unreliable

FIBRE

Fibre utilises the power and speed of light by transmitting data through fibre optic lines.

PROS
  • More reliable as fibre experiences less signal loss
  • Not vulnerable to electrical interference
  • Fibre optic cables can carry more data, minimising the chances of line congestion
  • Distance from the exchange will not have an impact on internet speeds
  • There is a variety of capped and uncapped options available

CONS

  • Not yet readily available across South Africa
  • The glass cables are at risk for physical damage
  • The installation process can often be timely and costly
INTERNET SPEED
ADSL

ADSL uses the copper cables of existing phone lines to transfer data from your nearest telephone exchange to your home or office.

The two factors that can slow down your internet speed:

  • Distance from the exchange – the further your data needs to travel the longer it will take to reach you.
  • Internet traffic – copper cables can’t handle an excessive data load, making them vulnerable to line congestion 

FIBRE

Fibre optic cables are made from glass and uses light signals to transmit data. This enables data to move at the speed of light through fibre optic cables. The distance from the exchange or internet traffic does not affect the speed of a fibre connection.
RELIABILITY
ADSL
The copper cables used by ADSL connections are vulnerable to electromagnetic interference (or “cross-talk”). External factors like weather can also either cause damage or hinder the effective transferring of data.

FIBRE

Fibre optic cables are constructed with thousands of extremely thin glass strands. These fibres are lightweight, allowing them to withstand incredible amounts of pressure and force. Also, because the cables are glass, and not electrical, weather and other external factors won’t cause inference.
COST
ADSL

Telkom charges all ADSL subscribers upwards of R200 per month for the use of their copper cable infrastructure. This means when comparing similar speed packages – ADSL will most likely be more expensive.

FIBRE

After the initially cost of installing the fibre infrastructure in an area, fibre cables are a lot cheaper to maintain.

Fibre cables also need replacing less often, as they last about nine generations longer than a standard copper cable.