ADSL vs Fibre, which will you choose?

Over the past few weeks we have been taking a closer look at the different types of Internet connections (Wireless, ADSL and Fibre) and how you can most benefit from them. For this weeks post, we decided to compare Fibre optic Internet with ADSL, to see which connection best suits you.




ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) makes use of the copper lines which are already in place and being used for landlines. Opposed to dial-up, ADSL uses a different frequency which allows you to make phone calls and search the web at the same time.

ADSL vs Fibre

Here is what the inside of an ADSL copper line looks like.


Fibre Optic


This connection makes use of light impulses to carry its data, instead of electrical impulses, as the copper lines do. The light impulses bounce along the inside of thin glass fibre tubes. As fibre optic broadband is Internet at the speed of light, it is therefore, much faster allowing for upload and download speeds to be greatly increased.

ADSL vs Fibre

Here is what the inside of a Fibre Optic Cable looks like.


The advantages of an ADSL & Fibre connection.



Fibre Optic

Internet connection access by existing copper lines.

Perfectly symmetrical connection.

Using telephone lines for both Internet & landlines.

Has a high resistance to electromagnetic interference.

Always active connection at a fixed monthly rate.

Extremely high bandwidth. 


The disadvantages of an ADSL & Fibre connection.


Fibre Optic

Copper wires susceptible to corrosion.

High installation costs.

The further the distance from the telephone exchange, the weaker the signal strength.

Susceptible to physical damage

Unstable at times – slower upload & download speeds.

Often special testing equipment is required.


ADSL vs Fibre

Here is what one of the exchanges looks like from Telkom

Now lets see what the primary differences are between ADSL and Fibre connections:





Asymmetric, the upload speeds are roughly 1/8th of the download speed.

This connection is symmetric, both the upload and download speeds are the same.





Capped (varies)

Uncapped (Fair use policy – 150GB per Mbps)


Affected by the climate (moisture, static). Dependent on the distance from the exchange.

Highly stable, fibre is unaffected by weather conditions or distance from POP.


Speed highly dependent on distance to exchange. Currently bandwidths of up to 10Mbps available.

Flexible bandwidths of up to 15Mbps available.

ADSL vs Fibre, which will you choose?

Fibre Optic internet is fast becoming a must-have in the business world. However, even though the costs are decreasing, they are still considerably high. Whereas ADSL still offers a great service, within the right circumstances, at a reasonable price. So which would you choose?

Call us today to find the ideal connection for you.

Snowball – connecting everything.

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