Everything You Need To Know About Fibre to the Business (FTTB)

Fibre has been at the forefront of South Africa’s digital transformation efforts. The technology has been essential for improving internet…

Connectivity Fiber/ Business Internet Connectivity

Fibre has been at the forefront of South Africa’s digital transformation efforts. The technology has been essential for improving internet speeds and connectivity, boosting the economy, and supporting digital innovation.

A key benefit of Fibre to the Business is that it enables businesses to operate online without any of the performance and quality constraints they may have faced before. This coupled with much higher bandwidth caps opens small businesses up to greater levels of collaboration and a range of new business possibilities.

Fibre rollout in South Africa

South Africa has experienced a fibre boom in recent years. According to CBN South Africa Fibre connections have skyrocketed over 4200% in the country. One of the driving factors for this widespread adoption of fibre internet is the acceleration in digital transformation brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and demand for reliable and fast internet connection.

According to the 2022 South African Fibre Report  fibre network operators (FNOs) had passed approximately 3.9 million of South Africa’s 17 million homes with fibre. Out of South Africa’s 860,000 business premises, 460,000 have access to fibre.

Despite the inroads made, South Africa has a lot of work to do to make fibre readily accessible to all businesses. While there has been some progress in getting more towns and suburbs access to fibre, fibre rollout has been slow for most of the country. Other barriers and challenges to fibre rollout are regulatory barriers, funding, and infrastructure constraints.

Fibre to the Business

Fibre allows for high-speed data transmission, as fibre optic cables can transmit data at very high speeds over long distances with minimal signal loss.

There are two different types of fibre optic network configurations, with the main difference being their target audience – FTTH (Fibre to the Home) and FTTB (Fibre to the Business).

FTTB is a connectivity solution commonly designed for office environments with multiple users of multiple devices connecting to lots of cloud apps. Fibre lines are connected to a street cabinet or fibre box, and from there are brought to office buildings. To get access to FTTB businesses must first check with fibre infrastructure providers to find out if there is fibre available in your area.

This solution offers several advantages for businesses, including faster internet speeds.  Fibre optic internet can offer speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second (Gbps), which is much faster than most other types of internet connects. Secondly, fibre has increased bandwidth, which means that it can handle more data at once. Lastly, fibre is the most reliable connection on the market right now and is less prone to outages or slowdowns.

By leveraging fibre optic technology, businesses can improve their productivity, collaborate more effectively, and take advantage of emerging technologies like cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Fibre features

When selecting fibre for business, there are several features that business owners should consider:

Bandwidth – This is the amount of data that a fibre connection can transmit. Business owners should consider their current and future bandwidth requirements, as well as the amount of data that will be transferred over the connection. It is essential to choose a fibre connection that can handle the bandwidth needs of your business, including online tools such as IP telephony services, video conferencing, or accessing cloud applications.

Speed – The speed of a fibre connection is another important consideration. To determine the speed requirements of your small business, you will need to determine the number of users and devices, common online activities, and the type of internet service you are using. Most fibre internet plans give you 1,000 Mbps speeds, although some providers can get you speeds of up to 2,000 Mbps or even 6,000 Mbps. Fibre is also the only type of internet that gives you symmetrical upload speeds—so your uploads will be just as fast as your downloads.

Reliability – Reliable fibre connection is essential for business operations. Business owners should choose fibre providers that can offer a reliable service with minimal downtime or interruptions. This may involve choosing a provider with a robust network infrastructure and a good track record of service reliability.

Support –  For instances that you will need fibre support, business owners, it’s important that your fibre provider offer responsive and reliable support in case of any issues or downtime. Other factors to consider are customer service, technical support, and service level agreements (SLAs).

Security – A secure internet connection is critical for any business. Business owners should ensure that the network provider has appropriate security measures in place to protect their data. This includes encryption, which safeguards critical data; firewalls that block unauthorised access to the network and sensitive data. Lastly, a VPN can encrypt internet traffic and protect data from potential hackers or eavesdroppers. A VPN should be used especially when accessing sensitive information, such as financial data or personal identifiable information.

The benefits of FTTB for businesses

FTTB creates a competitive advantage for businesses by improving internet speeds, enabling communication and collaboration, and providing access to cloud-based services. This can help small businesses to be more efficient, productive, and responsive to customer needs, which can ultimately lead to increased revenue and growth.

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing gives small businesses on-demand access to an unlimited number of web-based applications, data storage, processing, and other services. The result is businesses can scale their operations quickly and efficiently.

Some examples of cloud computing services include infrastructure as a service, platform as a service, and software as a service. The benefits for small businesses range from easily accessible data and automatic syncing to remote work facilitation and easy backups.

One of the most impactful cloud-based services used by businesses is HR and payroll software which eases the administrative burden associated with payroll. HR cloud systems allows businesses to manage and automate HR administrative processes and analyse employee performance in a single integrated system. Additional benefits are that it can be used to properly bill clients, create invoices and reports and allocate time and resources.

Collaboration and communication

FTTB enables better collaboration and communication among teams, making it easier for businesses to work together and make faster decisions. Collaborative software facilitates teamwork, regardless of whether the team members are physically present in the same office or working remotely. Collaborative software offers a variety of features, including video conferencing, online whiteboards, and messaging capabilities.

One of the standard tools many workplaces use is Google Workplace or G Suite. Users have access to the Workplace’s set of apps that cover a spectrum of functions, and are also able to sync across devices and are accessible by anyone with a Google account. Examples of Google Workplace tools include Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Calendar, and Gmail.

Enhanced customer experience

Companies, now more than ever, need to adapt to the changing needs of customers. Today customers expect companies to be online 24/7. Fibre can enhance customer experience by enabling businesses to provide faster and more reliable online services, leading to increased customer loyalty and retention.

There are a number of customer relationship management (CRM) tools on the market today, each of which comes with many features, integrations, and capabilities. A typical CRM platform tracks customer relationships as well as facilitates marketing, sales, and service processes.

Increased productivity

Businesses can increase productivity by automating processes and streamlining operations. The benefit for business is reduced costs and improved efficiency. Some of the business tasks that can be automated are social media posting, customer support, customer emails and the backing up of files.

One of the best uses of automation is with lead generation. Lead generation software is a time-saving marketing and sales app that lets you automatically generate more leads and create automated sales funnels.

Data analytics and insights

Companies that utilise appropriate tools for accessing and analysing big data, along with integrating it with their own organisational data, can gain a competitive edge. This enables them to generate insights required for identifying new revenue streams, previously untapped customer bases, and optimising their operations, among other benefits.

Data analytics can be used to great effect on optimising workflows to improve employee productivity and engagement.

“Big Data enables sophisticated HR platforms that managers can use to improve productivity and increase retention.

“Research shows that using a Human Resource Management System (HRMS) that integrates with enterprise data can ensure better employee performance, engagement, and personnel, organisational, recruitment, training, and salary management.

Improved business continuity

Any amount of unplanned downtime can bring business communications and productivity to a complete stop. Due to its reliability, FTTB reduces the risk of downtime and lost revenue. Additionally, by using cloud computing, small businesses can protect their data and quickly recover from disasters.

Innovation and growth

The availability of the internet can promote innovation and growth by enabling businesses to take advantage of emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). This can open up new markets and create new revenue streams for businesses. Studies have also shown that the availability of the internet leads to better jobs for low-income, lower-skilled people.

An example of this in action is in the manufacturing sector. The industry has seen a number of startups rise up to the challenge to come up with innovative tech solutions to reignite these sectors – from drone technology, IoT, and virtual reality (VR) to artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and analytics, as well as 3D printing technology.


FTTB is the fastest and most reliable connection we have in South Africa, and with more areas across the country getting availability, there has never been a better time to take advantage of all the benefits this business solution offers. Overall businesses should carefully consider the costs, benefits, and practicalities of upgrading to fibre optic technology before making a decision.