ADSL has long been the internet standard in South Africa.
However, with FTTH now bursting onto the scene, things are changing incredibly fast and South Africa is having to quickly cope with the new technology.
We asked Cybersmart’s Laurie Fialkov if Fibre will ever overtake ADSL in the country, what this means for South Africa, and if our tech support can cope:
FTTH will overtake ADSL eventually, said Fialkov.
“This is going to happen because of the rich media content that is now available over IP.”
“A couple of years back everything was text, you really had to be a geek to go through the pain of trying to stream a movie.”
“Now you choose a movie online, press the button, and expect it to play.”
“Now that we can do that easily (even on a 10Mbs ADSL line), the kids may want to stream a different movie to you because they also know how to click the play button.”
“So instead of fighting over the TV remote, we now fight as to who has access to the bandwidth.”
“So personal bandwidth requirements are going to increase, and the only technology that can really scale to speeds to support that is Fibre.”
What will this mean for technical support? Can the industry adapt to the change?
“As to the technical support side, obviously now that we have our own fibre in the ground you can no longer palm off any network issues on Telkom, you have to get out there and fix it.”
“However if you are just providing service over Telkom or another open access network, there is no new technical support challenges other than the training required around different open access implementations.”
“There is much more “wriggle room” at higher speeds. If the service you are providing is 10Mbs and something goes wrong which degrades the service to 5mbs, suddenly you can no longer stream in HD.”
“However if you are providing a 100Mbs service which degrades to 50Mbs, everything still works.”