The annual SME Survey carried out by local market research firm World Wide Worx has revealed that small to medium-sized enterprises are taking to fibre connectivity far faster than they did to ADSL.
World Wide Worx’ MD, Arthur Goldstuck, said that this is in large part due to the wide availability of fibre connections as offered by a large number of different Internet Service Providers, as opposed to ADSL whose foundational technology – a phone line – was only available through a single provider. That lack of a monopoly on fibre installations has led to highly competitive fibre packages that deliver speeds far in excess of what ADSL was capable of.
Goldstuck says “…any service provider can supply connectivity and services over fibre. This is very different to the South African ADSL market, where there is essentially still only one provider for the technology. This diversity has clearly helped open the market, thanks to the increased competition.”
He adds that “The switch from ADSL to fibre is being driven by much the same reasoning as the earlier move from dial-up to ADSL. In effect, when SMEs see a clear value proposition, one which can translate into the phrase ‘no-brainer’, they are more than willing to embrace it rapidly.”
Goldstuck also offered commentary on reasons behind one of the survey’s other findings – that SMEs are not moving to the cloud as quickly as they are adopting fibre.
“On the other hand, when [a technology] has to be explained or demystified – as seems to have occurred with the concept of the cloud – they tend to stay clear of it for far longer. However, with fibre the value proposition is so obvious that SMEs are clear about how it will improve their business, and so adoption is taking off.”
Fibre speeds are exceptional, and offer a brilliant price to performance ratio that is difficult to ignore. And as they do not have the same level of contention as ADSL does (meaning fewer people use the same connection), people tend to get the speeds they pay for. Bandwidth caps are likewise less of an issue with fibre as with ADSL, as uncapped offers are both common and affordable.
“This quality and speed, coupled with much higher bandwidth caps, is opening these small businesses up to greater levels of collaboration and a range of new business possibilities,” he says.
“Ultimately, fibre expands the vision of small business decision makers, while leveling the playing fields with large organisations in terms of access and collaboration. Furthermore, once SMEs get to grips with the many possibilities offered by fibre, they will be more confident in aiming for a higher digital level and will more fully embrace cloud platforms and solutions. This, in turn, means they will be well placed to compete more directly with big enterprises,” Goldstuck concludes.