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Joburg’s Best Fibre Suppliers

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It’s hard to remember a time before fibre internet launched in Jozi. When ADSL reigned supreme, anyone who didn’t want to deal with Telkom could only turn to mobile networks for slightly better services—but at similarly abysmal speeds. 

However, when fibre officially launched in 2014, everything changed. Today, high-speed and reliable internet is accessible to Johannesburg residents through numerous internet service providers. Yet ISPs aren’t the ones who make the magic of the internet work for us; that comes down to the backhaul providers. 

These backhaul providers are the ones who install, upgrade, and repair the central infrastructure that all ISPs use to deliver lightning-fast internet to your home. Without them, we may still be trying to connect to ADSL and waiting on hold with Telkom for support. Below, we’ve found the best fibre suppliers in Jozi that work with the leading local ISPs.

Openserve

Although many believe Openserve to be synonymous with Telkom, the company is a subsidiary and operates independently. Openserve also owns the largest fibre network in South Africa, having already installed over 146,000 kilometres of fibre cable by 2015.

Due to its expansive reach, the company operates in more areas than any other and has comprehensive coverage for Jozi residents. Because it is so large, it is also one of the preferred backbones for ISPs and offers many options to allow you to register on the Openserve network. 

Openserve also stands out due to its reliability. With load shedding interrupting your scheduled time for playing live dealer games or your weekend movie marathon, having your internet go down just adds to the stress.

To combat anything that could cause downtime, Openserve has more than 2,000 generators located at specific sites to protect against power outages. Other sites have greener options, such as solar. 

In addition, the entire Openserve network is monitored 24/7 at the state-of-the-art Network Operations Center. This ensures that if the network goes down, technicians are immediately sent to get it back up and running. 

Vuma Fibre (Vumatel)

Second to Openserve is Vuma, also known as Vumatel. Founded in 2014, Vuma has become one of the largest fibre operators across South Africa and is responsible for the continuous connection of more than two million homes. 

Like Openserve, the company plays host to a large number of ISPs that offer packages on the backbone. Many areas in which Vuma operates are also supplied by Openserve, giving consumers more than one option.

Moreover, Vuma has an extensive network of backup power solutions and monitoring systems to combat load shedding and other network disruptions. However, despite Vuma’s efforts, there have been many complaints about dropped networks during load-shedding hours toward the end of 2023. 

Downtime due to Eskom power cuts aside, the company has been working on the development of a 10 gigabyte-per-second line over the last two years that it hopes to launch for residential use soon. Although this line will likely be expensive, its speeds would be virtually unrivalled except by FTTB lines. 

Frogfoot 

With almost 20 years in the industry, Frogfoot has a wealth of experience in managing large-scale fibre systems. The company is also responsible for multiple rollouts throughout South Africa, including in cities like Polokwane, Witbank, East London, Middelburg, and Richards Bay.

Frogfoot has a strong reputation for offering exceptional technical support and almost continuous uptime for Johannesburg net surfers. This support is backed up by a commitment from the company to ensure that its network is not disturbed by load shedding and has redundancies built in for other potential disruptions. 

However, Frogfoot has come under heavy fire recently from consumers who claim their network goes down even during stage-two load shedding. The company has admitted to facing challenges and does make a concerted effort to update its system status page when things go pear-shaped. 

Thanks to a commitment to the future development of its lines and generally impeccable service, Frogfoot is a strong competitor against Openserve and other backhaul providers. Frogfoot can also be cheaper than alternatives due to its open-access nature and host of ISPs on its network for users to choose from. 

MetroFibre

Established in 2012, MetroFibre is a fast-growing internet provider in South Africa that’s quickly risen to become a top player in the market. Aside from FTTH, MetroFibre is one of the largest FTTB providers in Gauteng and has a network accessible to more than 144,000 residential homes. 

Offering fibre, VOIP PBX, hosting, and a VPN, the company works alongside multiple ISPs and is registered as an open-access provider. It is also one of the founding members of the Metro Ethernet Forum—a group of associate networks striving to improve network connectivity in the country.

Like other backbone providers, MetroFibre has made extensive progress in protecting its network against perennial issues like load shedding. It has achieved this by installing multiple battery backups and managing a network of portable generators that can be deployed where needed, as identified by the company’s monitoring system. 

MetroFibre has also launched Fibre Experience Stores, where existing customers can access uncapped Wi-Fi in a safe environment and get technical support. Those looking to register for internet service can test the network’s speeds and schedule installations on site. 

Conclusion

Although other well-known operators like Evotel and Dark Fibre Africa also operate extensive networks in Johannesburg and its surrounding areas, the four mentioned in this article lead the pack with chart-topping speeds and exceptional service. 

These companies have also made exceptional strides in ensuring Jozi residents can stay connected during load shedding—something every resident appreciates as the country continues grappling with rolling power cuts.

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