What impacts performance

Copper vs Fibre



Gigabite Business


Many things can impact your current broadband speed, from your network and how your broadband provider configures their service, to your property or just how the internet works. It can be difficult to pinpoint the issue impacting your speed as it may be a combination of factors.


 • Distance

 • Broadband plan

 • Wiring

 • Hardware and software

 • Copper quality

 • WiFi

 • The service at the other end of the line



Attenuation is a general term that refers to any reduction in the strength of a signal. Attenuation occurs with any type of signal, whether digital or analog. Sometimes called loss, attenuation is a natural consequence of signal transmission over long distances.


If your broadband is being delivered over copper, the biggest factor impacting your speed is your distance from the cabinet or exchange. The further away you are, the greater the attenuation on the copper and the slower your broadband speed.


Fibre is not sensitive to distance and will ultimately be your best option for high quality, reliable broadband.



Capacity is also referred to as congestion.

The time of day or night when you use the internet can impact your broadband speed. In busier periods of the day you can experience slower speeds, for example in the afternoon when school and work finish and more people get online at home. Internet traffic reaches a point where a component within our network and/or your broadband provider’s network or even the website you’re accessing, exceeds capacity.


Broadband plan

If your speed drops suddenly and you’ve been downloading lots of content, you may have exceeded your data limit on your broadband plan and as a result, your speed is decreased.



Your modem can impact your broadband speed and like most technology, age is a factor.





Copper vs fibre


Many South African homes and businesses will soon have a choice of broadband delivered over copper or fibre. So why do you need fibre when our competitors existing copper network can deliver respectable broadband speeds, particularly when you can get in excess of 30Mbps using VDSL technology?


What can copper do?


Attenuation is a general term that refers to any reduction in the strength of a signal. Attenuation occurs with any type of signal, whether digital or analog. Sometimes called loss, attenuation is a natural consequence of signal transmission over long distances.


South Africa’s copper network has been around for a long time and was originally designed and built to carry voice services over long distances, even to rural areas.


Our competitors have continued to attempt to innovate the services they deliver over copper by adding new electronics to their network and incorporating growing amounts of fibre. This has enabled them to deliver dial-up broadband access and various Digital Subscriber Line technology (ADSL, ADSL2+ and VDSL2) to deliver broadband with faster speeds.


But there’s a limit to what copper can do and that’s due to attenuation. The further away you are from our exchange or cabinet, the poorer your broadband speed is.


How can fibre improve copper?


Our fibre rollout puts us in an enviable position of having the choice to bring fibre into your home or business, removing the challenges of copper which you currently experience.


Our competitors are using fibre to extend the reach of their copper with their most ambitious Fibre to the Node programme to deliver ADSL2+ broadband to 80% of South African homes and businesses. Copper technology innovations over the last 20 years have delivered faster speeds but further advancements are challenging. The latest copper technology, may deliver broadband speeds over 100Mbps but over distances as short as 250m. Fibre needs to be used to get the cabinet closer to your home. More fibre-fed cabinets would need to be installed in streets to bring this technology closer to properties.


We’ve however embarked on the deployment of our completely fibre-fed suburbs and towns rollout to deliver services to properties. Thus significantly increased average broadband speeds beyond anything that can be offered over copper.


Copper vs fibre comparison


Fibre is future-proof and ubiquitous as the same service can be provided regardless of location or distance.


Broadband services over copper are highly variable due to:


• distance

• copper quality

• home wiring issues

• outdated modems


Fibre with bandwidths of 1Gbps are available now with 10Gbps and 100Gbps services highly feasible. Once the fibre network is in place, we can continue to innovate services by updating electronics that deliver this.


Fibre also underpins mobile networks as they need fibre to deliver good quality services. Fibre connects cell sites to fixed networks and provides backhaul.



Online TV, high definition movies, gaming, shopping, smart home appliances - we are more connected than ever before and the internet’s role in our lives will continue to rapidly evolve. As we do more online we need better broadband speed to ensure that every member of the household is getting a great experience.


With the launch of a number of online streaming options, it is now possible that every member of the household could be watching a different programme. Faster broadband is the key to getting a good online experience and avoiding the frustration of buffering. For a growing number of South Africn households this means fibre and broadband plans of 100 Mpbs or more.


When we talk about fibre delivering faster broadband, we mean allot  faster:


Broadband speed (Mbps)


As we do more and more online we really need the broadband speeds offered by 100 Mbps fibre broadband services.


To watch a standard definition TV programme online you will need broadband speeds of around 5 Mbps. For a high definition online TV programme you will need a broadband speed of around 7 Mbps or more. This is almost the capacity of many of our competitors ADSL2+ broadband connections. If others in the household are watching another programme at the same time you may experience buffering.


Fibre ensures that broadband speed is no longer an issue.


And it’s not just about watching online streaming, downloading movies, music and gaming, all becomes faster with better broadband:


Source: Ofcom Choosing your Broadband Service brochure


The first step in getting a fantastic fibre broadband experience is to chat to a TT Connect approved ISP.


If your property is in a right of way, or if you live in an apartment block, there are a few things to note when getting fibre broadband, so take a look at the consents process. Our fibre network is new and we do need to come and connect your home or business to it.


Benefits of fibre


Not only can your household be entertained by rich data on multiple devices, but you

can enjoy the benefits of smart technology in your everyday life. Fibre opens up endless



• Manage your home remotely:

Control devices in your home and operate security systems remotely from your mobile phone. Track what time the kids get home by setting electronic access to your home and your energy use by setting alerts for when you’re near your limits.


• Remote health checks:

Install medical monitoring equipment which takes automated tests and alerts your doctor if anything is wrong. In the future this may also mean a teleconference call with your doctor from home.


• Track things that matter:

Sensors can connect, diagnose and help locate your cars, lost keys, pets or even family members.


• Organise your life:

Quickly and easily back up and store all your precious photos, work files, multimedia and home videos in the cloud via any device.


• Upskill and learn remotely:

You can learn languages, attend international universities, interact in lectures, be tutored for jobs, CV writing and interview skills. Broadband over fibre lets you talk, create and collaborate simultaneously on homework and school projects with teachers from home.



UFB for business


Businesses that embrace the power of internet enjoy strong growth. Cost savings and increased revenues lead to higher profitability, and opportunites once exclusive to big enterprise, are now available to small and medium businesses.


Research shows connected businesses are more likely to export and create new jobs. Being better connected to your community, your customers, the courntry, and the world is essential today’s business world. With fibre offering internet access speeds 100 mbps or more, you can.


Superior broadband and more value for money


In the past a fibre-based data services was an expensive option for medium size businesses and tended to the be the domain of corporates. UFB brings affordable 100 Mpbs+ broadband within the budgets of most businesses.


You need to weigh the benefits of a business service versus cheaper best effort plans more designed for residential users. Business plans offer a dedicated services with structured support. Can your business afford not to be connected?


Talk to a TT Connect approved ISP. Once you have ordered a service, better connectivity has the potential to transform how your business operates and how you work with your customers and suppliers:


Better efficiency and productivity


– Capture and analyse data in real-time to help better decision making.

– Consult via video for better diagnosis and link systems to those of suppliers for quicker turnaround.

– Gives you the opportunity to consider teleworking for your people.

– Centralise resources by providing admin support, on demand,  remotely.

– Back up your data securely and quickly and get live video security footage and alerts.


Advantages of the cloud


– The software as a service model makes many cloud computing services affordable to small businesses.

– New customers and markets

– Get to know your customer’s habits - where they research, socialise and buy online.

– Expand virtually beyond domestic borders.

– Teleconference regularly, daily if required, with your customers without having to get on a plane.


Working remotely


– Connect, download and upload huge files and access office tools over a secure business connection that can be  delivered via a separate ‘port’ on your fibre terminal.

– Use ultra-high definition video conferencing to manage limited time - ‘present’ in two places at once without being there.

– Offer teleworking to workers who want more flexibility. This will also improve productivity, avoid travel time at peak hours and reduce office real estate. Your people no longer have to live within commuting distance or even the same city or country. Research highlights the benefits of offering teleworking options to employee satisfaction, productivity and retention.


Working globally


– Capitalise on time differences by providing support or complete work when other cities are asleep.

– Reduce international travel costs by taking part in global meetings and collaborating with colleagues across timezones through telepresencequality videoconferencing.


 TT Connect is the fastest growing UFB partner contracted to deliver UFB to over 62 000 properties – and thats just in the East Rand.





Five key reasons faster broadband is essential to a countries economic future


Ultra-fast broadband is pushing our country into the global broadband arena – but what must we do to get the economic and social benefits?


As an organization we are investing privately, in a once-in-a-generation fibre network. It is a bold, visionary initiative.


Our countrys' appetite for fast, consistent broadband is exploding with our consumption of high definition video over smart devices.


Fibre will future-proof that need. But our current relationship with the internet is as a consumer, not a creator and that’s not generating economic benefits.


Economic transformation means we must use the internet strategically. Our national wealth is growing slower than other countries: we work harder and earn less. Exports contribute just a portion of our income – less than comparable countries - and our economy is founded on micro-businesses. Socially we have an aging population and a growing divide between cities and regions


How will UFB help?


1        Greater wealth, based on innovation and productivity


Researchers at Alcatel Lucent’s Bell Labs estimate UFB could generate $32.8 billion in economic benefits over 20 years.


McKinsey Net Matters research shows better connectivity can drive the weightless economy. It says small business, which is most companies, get the biggest boost in export growth, job creation and profitability from fast broadband.


Studies have recently found that firms who make more extensive use of the internet are six percent more productive, or four years ahead, of the average firm in their industry. If low-internet-use firms operated more like high-use firms, this could be worth an additional boost to the economy.


2        Regional revitalisation


Connecting cities, towns and small regional centres allows people to collaborate and innovate as a ‘city’ of many people. It removes the tyranny of distance and helps regional communities to utilise their natural resources and capabilities to attract new talent and new business, as well as help address some of the challenges they face today. Regional businesses can extend their reach nationally and internationally; families can stay connected and communities can access specialist education and healthcare services out of reach today.


3        Smarter, more efficient homes


Fast broadband can make our homes smarter and that means more comfortable, safer and cheaper to run.


If you have a smart home you can turn heating on remotely so it is warm when get back from work. You could watch your baby safely sleeping from your mobile or even have the house check its inhabitants are healthy. And if someone, say an elderly relative, is feeling sick, they can make a video call to a doctor or nurse.


Smart homes don’t just make life easier for homeowners. Thanks to sensors, smart grids and automation they can be part of smart, sustainable communities where everyone can live more safely and where those in need are just moments away from the support allowing them to stay independent.


4        Work/life balance


One in four people use the internet to work from home. Recent teleworking studies found that 89 percent of employees teleworked for at least an hour each week and nearly

75 percent found that it improved their attitude to work. High-definition home video conferencing means we can literally be ‘present’ in two places at once and collaborate without physically needing to be present. Teleworking saves money, reduces traffic congestion, supports parents re-entering the workforce and helps keep skilled people in the workforce

for longer.


5        Better education outcomes


It has been observed that elearning on better broadband can create opportunities for our children irrespective of socio-economic background and culture. It can change attendance and educational results.


The challenge is how we harness the opportunity at multiple levels – education policies, learning, access to equipment and teacher training — to keep us at the cutting edge of world class education.


Ultra-fast broadband is a launch pad for students of every age, whether at school, home or work, to learn and share experiences across cultures, race and geography. And it opens us up to participate in the rich resources of leading universities and institutions across the world.


Ultra-fast broadband is an enabler, a catalyst. But short-term economic change requires vision and intent. No one party can do it alone. And it requires a different type of conversation: one where educators, business leaders, politicians, investors, entrepreneurs consider how we work together to maximise the benefits of this next generation infrastructure for South Africa.




© - 2017