The COVID-19 pandemic may have brought many businesses to a halt, but fibre ISPs are seeing strong growth as a result of the lockdown.
Fibre ISPs previously told MyBroadband that customers have been using the Internet at significantly higher rates than before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, and have now also confirmed that more South Africans have been signing up to fibre packages far more frequently than usual.
This appears to be because more people are working from home and are not able to leave their homes to access entertainment.
MyBroadband spoke with South African fibre ISPs about fibre signup trends in South Africa since the lockdown began.
MWEB said it has seen an increase in demand for fibre products since the national lockdown began.
Additionally, it has not seen any significant changes between the various lockdown levels.
“As people continue to work at home and practice social distancing we do expect to see the demand for best performing internet that enables fully connected homes to continue,” MWEB said.
Webafrica told MyBroadband that is has seen a “massive uptick in sales volumes”.
It has seen volumes continue to remain high even as regulations have been eased.
“Lockdown has had a hugely positive effect on fibre adoption rates,” said Webafrica.
It said the lockdown may end up resulting in a more connected South Africa long-term.
“Where previously it may have taken as much as 5 years to get a 75% connected homes vs homes passed rate, it will now take much less time,” said Webafrica.
Supersonic said it has found that people are more reluctant to commit to package upgrades.
Instead, they are more inclined to top up.
“We also launched a usage portal where customers could log on, enter their details and the portal would provide them with their usage stats including peak usage times, amount of data used etc,” said Supersonic.
“The portal has proved very popular with customers logging on daily.”
Supersonic believes that working from home will become more acceptable as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
“We believe companies will also become more output focused and will embrace technologies that will enhance or improve their product and service delivery.”