How long it takes to switch fibre ISPs

An important consideration when comparing FTTH infrastructure companies is how long ISP migration takes.

Vumatel said it takes at least 24 hours for a subscriber to change ISPs. They must cancel their service with their current ISP and agree upon a cancellation date.

It is then up to the ISP to cancel and release the subscriber’s service.

Depending on the network type the subscriber is on, they may be handed over to the new ISP and their service activated. In other cases, it may be necessary to create a new order so that Vumatel can re-provision the fibre link.

MetroFibre Networx said it requires 30 days to process a cancellation or migration.

Internect’s estimated time to execute a migration is two working days for FTTH subscribers. It is between three and five days for business subscribers.

Frogfoot said that migrations on its network are dependant on the notice period specified by the ISP.

Octotel said that it has a migration process which lets subscribers change ISPs without waiting for their existing provider to approve the change. This is usually done within 24 hours on business days.

“One assumes the subscriber leaves the old service on a happy note – usually at the end of a calendar month,” said Octotel.

“The other process assumes there is possibly some friction between the subscriber and the old ISP, so the subscriber would like to move to a new ISP as soon as possible.”


Openserve said it requires at least 48 hours for subscribers to migrate their fibre line from one ISP to another.

However, much like its DSL system, it is possible to use a username and password from a different ISP without migrating your line from your existing ISP.

An ISP which offers services on Openserve’s network explained that migrations are actually quite complicated. For migrations from any ISP except Telkom, they release the line from their portal using the circuit number – “B-number” – into the holding pool.

Once in the holding pool, another ISP can claim the line using the B-number.

If the customer is with Telkom, they need to first cancel their service with Telkom after which the third-party ISP must apply for a new installation. Openserve then has to installs a new optical network terminal at the customer’s home.

The time frames required to switch ISPs on various FTTH network providers is summarised below.

Time to switch ISPs
Openserve At least 48 hours / At will
Vumatel At least 24 hours
MetroFibre Networx 30 days
SA Digital Villages 24 business hours (3 days)
Internect 2 days
Octotel Within 24 hours on business days
Cybersmart ISP-dependent
Frogfoot ISP-dependent

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How long it takes to switch fibre ISPs