In 2021, chances are you have a fibre internet connection.
Over the years we’ve heard of and experienced a few forms of internet connection. Whether fixed ADSL, “mobile data”, or a fibre connection gets you through; do you really understand the journey and inner workings of your internet?
With fixed-line internet connections, we’ve certainly come a long way since copper cables have plagued us. Copper theft and environmental factors have had a major impact on our usage and connection over the years until usable fixed fibre solutions made an appearance in 2008, growing steadily in South Africa. But delving deeper into the inner workings of this fantastic option, let’s break down what fibre really is and how we’re able to receive a working internet connection through it?
Fibre optic cables have been around since the 1970s, slowly replacing electrical cabling to provide internet connections around the world. Unfortunately, this is quite an expensive process with workmen labour, equipment, and materials used which is one of the prime reasons for slow fibre rollout in South Africa.
Fibre comprises of 3 layers of material in a single fibre: the inner layer called the core, the outer, called the cladding and a plastic protective cover called a buffer coating. The core is made up of glass that is as thin as a human hair that allows light to pass through while the second layer, the cladding is thicker glass or plastic that is wrapped around to protect the core and help reflect light and prevent any data loss. The cladding and buffer coating serves as a means of protection. Inside the core is where the magic truly happens! Light travels through this core in pulses which is translated into information that travels from the source to your terminal called an ONT (Optical Network Terminal) to provide you with fibre internet. These light pulses translate into binary code, a language on which the internet is built on.
A fibre connection is achieved by bundling many of these single fibres and layering them underground or overhead in areas. If you opt for a fixed fibre line, you’ll go through a process like this depending on the provider and ISP you choose:
Remember, the line installation is a once-off payment and you only need to pay your ISP for your fibre package going forward. In the long run, you save more for a stable fibre connection that can be used freely in your house by your family members.