Superfast Fibre Internet Connectivity comes to Kouga
As MetroFibre Networx rolls out fibre infrastructure across the Kouga municipality, residents and businesses are getting to enjoy all the benefits of the internet with their super-fast, reliable fibre connectivity. To date, MetroFibre Networx has passed (that means fibre has been installed in the ground) over 5000 homes and businesses in Kabeljous, Noorsekloof, Jeffreys Bay, C Place and Aston Bay. The fibre rollout kicked off on 15 March 2021 and is continuing in various suburbs across the Kouga municipality, with MetroFibre being the dominant fibre network operator (FNO) in the region.
Now that you have fibre available in your area, MetroFibre Networx offers a step-by-step guide of all the important things are that you need to know…
The fibre is in the ground – so now what?
Once the fibre infrastructure is installed in your suburb by the approved fibre network operator (FNO), you will need to sign up with an internet service provider (ISP) to bring the fibre from the street, into your home. Here’s is an outline of the steps involved in choosing an ISP and getting the fibre connected to your home:
- Install your TP during the build phase:Even if you’re not yet ready to connect fibre to your home, MetroFibre recommends that a fibre installation point (also known as a Termination Point) is installed during the build phase to save you on cost later. Having a termination point (TP) ready means that an ISP can connect you as soon as your order is placed in future, without having to dig a trench from the roadside (where the fibre is installed underground) down to your property to install a connection point. If you do this after the build phase is completed – it may cost you to have the installation done.
- Choose your Internet Service Provider (ISP): In some instances, the infrastructure provider (FNO) and your internet service provider (ISP) may be the same company, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be. This is where the concept of ‘open access” comes in. As MetroFibre is an ‘Open Access’ network, it means that we allow a variety of ISPs and resellers to operate off our network infrastructure, which gives you a variety of choice as to the Internet Service Provider (ISP) as well as the packages, pricing and service levels on offer.
- What does an ISP do? Your ISP provides your actual internet connectivity, provides support or troubleshooting on technical issues, bills you every month for the service and installs the Wi-Fi router in your home that connects you to the internet. Most ISPs will have a list of ‘internet’ packages to choose from determined by the speed of the connection, ranging anywhere from 25 Megabits per second (Mbps) through to 300 Mbps (or more for intensive users). The price scales up the higher the speed of the line which is measured in Mbps. (This is the speed and not the data cap, like a mobile package).
- How to choose my ISP package: You can choose between a capped or an uncapped fibre connection. A capped fibre connection will limit the amount of data you can use to a prescribed cap. However, most ISPs now provide uncapped fibre connections which is a better option if you’re planning on watching movies or downloading music with your fibre line without worrying that you have run out of data. Also, be aware that some uncapped services still come with a fair use policy (FUP) – which service providers implement as subscribers stretch the capacity of their networks by ‘throttling’ back the line speeds once certain usage thresholds are reached. Also look at aspects such as symmetrical line speed – a symmetric internet connection means that the data speed and file transfer rate is the same for both upload and download directions, at the same time. Symmetrical connections provide a much better internet experience than that of asymmetrical connections, especially if you are accessing the cloud for your work and entertainment purposes – which most of us are. Be wary of basing your entire ISP decision on the first available connection date or price. Most FTTH infrastructure providers have several Internet Service Providers (ISPs) that operate off their line and can provide you with many choices and price packages for your fibre line connection (this is what is termed an ‘open access’ network.)
- What internet speed do I need? As a rule of thumb, an internet speed of 25 Mbps should be sufficient for home use, but this depends on your choice of entertainment and the type of work you do – as data intensive occupations such as civil engineers, creative designers or photographers will use a great deal more data than a journalist would, for example. How many people are using the connection and number of devices connected also plays a role. If you have a normal family unit that comprises of mom and dad that need to work, while the kids are streaming off platforms for online schooling, or Netflix and YouTube, you may need a higher speed connection. If you are participating in remote conference calls such as Webex, Teams, Zoom, Facetime or Whatsapp video calls, then you could need a faster line speed to accommodate these data-intensive applications. Having fibre at home, may allow you to reduce your mobile phone data package as you would be connected to the Fibre’s Wi-Fi.
- Connecting fibre to your home: Once you have decided on an ISP and package and confirmed you order with your ISP, they will arrange for your router to be installed and activate your service. Most ISPs will provide you with a fibre router that is included in your package – in most instances the router remains the property of the ISP. The router broadcasts your internet connection via a technology called Wi-Fi to devices in your home such as your phone, tablet, laptop or your TV – think of it as an invisible internet connection that you connect to via radio wave transmission. You can also connect a device such as your TV or laptop directly to your router using an Ethernet cable, which we would recommend if you are planning on streaming movies or songs from your TV (or testing your speed of your internet). You will find that video streaming is data-intensive and may require more bandwidth, causing other services and devices to ‘lag’ or buffer. This tends to grow more severe as more devices connect to the Wi-Fi. A wired (Ethernet cable) connection is always more reliable than the Wi-Fi signal from the same router and does not suffer from fluctuations.
What can I use my fibre connection for?
Here are MetroFibre’s top hacks to make the most of your ‘fibre to the home’ internet:
- Save money on unnecessary data and connectivity costs – with the power of superfast, uncapped 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, fast and uncapped fibre internet connection means you can now get serious about canning expensive data subscriptions and get a lot more bang for your buck with your ‘connected’ home or business.
- Wi-Fi-calling: You can make calls over your Wi-Fi connection via WhatsApp or Skype, so you’ll save on telephony and mobile network costs and never have to worry about your data running out while you’re face-timing your bestie in New Zealand. Set your mobile phone up to automatically switch to your wi-fi network at home and save a packet by keeping your (more expensive) mobile data for when you’re not in wi-fi range.
- Video on Demand – fed up with hefty subscriptions for satellite TV only to be served with endless repeats and a rigid viewing schedule that does not suit your lifestyle? With fibre internet, the world of entertainment is your oyster. You can subscribe to multiple streaming services for music, video and entertainment at an absolute fraction of the subscription cost of a typical pay TV subscription – think Netflix, Showtime, Showmax and Classic Cinema Online to YouTube, Amazon Prime Video and so much more. Watch what you want, listen to what you want, when you want. And as a last tantaliser, your fibre line is impervious to weather, so no annoying satellite TV interruptions in a downpour or waiting weeks for technicians to come and repair your ADSL line.
- Online Shopping – No more queuing and spending time doing price comparisons – shop online, save time and avoid those tempting impulse buys that store retailers are so good at placing in your path. Many grocery retailers 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 only purchase what you really need. And who wouldn’t love the convenience of having it all delivered to your door?
- Safety and Security – we all get that security is an issue in South Africa. With an uncapped fibre line, you can connect safety and security devices such as your alarm system and CCTV cameras to the web, allowing you to remotely log in and access these devices – you can check in on your cameras and see what’s is going on at home or the office. With fibre internet, your line speed is much faster so your images are clearer and you reduce the frustration of latency and buffering. You can even arm and disarm your alarm remotely. If your vehicle tracking provider offers a portal log in, you can use your internet connection to log in and check where your people are travelling and that they are safe and sound.
- Learn something new – one of the most exciting developments that has come about as a result of reliable fibre internet connectivity is online learning – think research, school projects, study support and more. And before you clock out thinking this is only for the academically-inclined, check out the likes of Udemy for a mind-blowing array of mind-stretching and very affordable educational experiences – from learning to play a new musical instrument, photography and design courses, to cooking and baking up a storm of the latest foodie trends, to fitness and health, meditation, travel, DIY, gaming, through to specific industry trades, academics and teaching content. The internet is the most extensive library of learning materials – for you and your family, and it’s all available to you, courtesy of a high-speed, reliable internet connection. As they say in the classics – a mind once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions.
- Music Streaming – No one still forks out for archaic CDs and DVDs that take up space, scratch and deteriorate over time. Music streaming is the ultimate spoil when it comes to some well-deserved chill and relax time to your favourite tunes, or if you’re so inclined, some hectic cardio-pumping hits to get you and your gym workout lit. You can also download while at home to your device and listen later. Think Spotify, Joox, iTunes, and YouTube Music.
- Get e-mail – forget snail mail and sign up for an e-mail account and stay in touch. There’s very little you can do today without an email address and internet connection – free e-mail services like Google’s Gmail are perfect if you don’t have access to subscription-based services such as Microsoft Office and Outlook.
- Cloud-based storage and back-up – the days of your external hard drive crashing and you losing all your precious photos and important documents are over. Get serious about backing up your important data – providers like Google and Dropbox offer free accounts up to a certain storage capacity, and a paid subscription for users with bigger storage needs. The best part of being in the cloud is having access to your data and documents from any device, anywhere in the world, with a simple log in. Say goodbye to that filing cabinet.
- Remote working – If you’re working a hybrid model of remote and onsite working, then a quality, stable internet connection is a must. There’s simply no work without a decent internet connection. For employees who already have fibre connectivity at home, the stability and volume of data, both up and down is distinctly superior versus mobile data, and essential for cloud computing and data heavy applications such as video conferencing, the mainstay of remote workforces.
Make it your mission to get the most out of your fibre internet connection. Most people are surprised at just how much they rely on the internet for their everyday lives, and just how much they can save not only on hard costs, but on time, effort and sanity with a reliable, fibre internet connection.
What cybersecurity measures should I take?
Whether for work or leisure, when you’re online cybersecurity becomes vital. Do the following:
- Be cognitive of phishing scams and think twice before clicking on links – cyber hackers have not wasted any time capitalising on people’s online vulnerabilities.
- Adhere to your company’s IT security policies and guidelines at home, just as you would at the office.
- Make sure all your virus protection and software updates are up to date and in force.
- Make sure your wi-fi router is password protected and only allow trusted people to connect to your network.
- As for the younger members of the family, make sure you enable applications that will keep them safe from the dark side of the web – such as Kaspersky, NetNanny, PhoneSheriff, TeenSafe with some provider-based options such as the parental control dashboard offered on DSTV, to mention a few.
Technology has become integrated into every aspect of our lives – and this has been thrown into stark reality during the pandemic. Make the most of the endless opportunities that your fibre internet connection offers!