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.


Other broadband


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 traveling 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.


It can be difficult to pinpoint the issue impacting your current broadband speed,  from our network and how your broadband provider configures their service, to your property or just how the internet works these are the following aspects that could influence your performance:


 • Broadband plan

 • Wiring

 • Hardware and software

 • WiFi

 • The service at the other end of the line



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.


Fibre to the home


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 substantially 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.




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?



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.


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 fibre in your street.

Copper vs Fibre


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