What is broadband?
The term broadband refers to a high capacity transmission technique using a wide range of frequencies, which enables a large number of messages to be communicated simultaneously.
On fibre optic networks or Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB), information is carried faster than ever before. You can use multiple devices accessing rich media such as online TV or movies without slowing down. Fibre also doesn’t degrade over distance like copper does so no matter how near or far you are from the exchange, you’ll get the same speed.
Fibre is being rolled out gradually around South Africa. Find out when it’s coming to your street by using our broadband capability map.
If our fibre is in your street, contact your broadband provider to place an order so we can connect you.
You can also use broadband via copper, mobile, wireless and satellite.
Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) technology delivers broadband over copper network at higher speeds than voice. This is better than dial-up and you get to use the phone while on the internet. However, the main limitation with copper is your distance from the exchange or cabinet - the further away you are, the weaker the signal.
Speed and capacity vary a lot (between 2 and 20 Mbps) depending on which generation of DSL you’re using. The three most widely available are:
VDSL2 gives you the fastest copper connection speed over short distances (less than 800m). VDSL broadband speed is in excess of 20 Mbps but if you are close to the cabinet or exchange delivering your service you could get 50 or 60 Mbps. The greater capacity mean faster image uploads, music and movie downloads, enhanced gaming and multimedia.
ADSL2+ gives you broadband speeds of 10Mbps over short distances of approximately 2km. Actual speeds are affected by things such as line length, cable size, service type and home wiring. If you’re experiencing slow broadband, find out what impacts your speed.
This is the first generation of DSL technology and is our entry level copper broadband offering speeds of 2Mbps over distances of approximately 6km. ADSL1 is most likely to be found in rural areas where we haven’t installed new cabinets under the Rural Broadband Initiative.
Mobile broadband uses a wireless connection between the nearest mobile phone site and your mobile device to access the internet including mobile phones, laptops, desktop computers, tablets and personal digital assistants (PDAs). You’ll need a data card or modem for your computer and you can tether to a tablet from your smartphone. You should be able to connect to the internet with good mobile coverage.
Wireless broadband uses a wireless connection between the nearest wireless broadband transmitter and a wireless broadband modem that connects to your computer. It uses radio waves travelling from a transmission tower to a receiver in your property and operates on a separate network to the mobile phone network.
This is the best way to reach remote areas as coverage extends to anywhere in South Africa. Satellite beams emitted are picked up by a satellite dish installed at your property.