Confidence in SA’s fibre network operators drops

Admire Moyo
By Admire Moyo
Johannesburg, 25 Apr 2024
The scores for Frogfoot, Openserve, Vumatel and Dark Fibre Africa have all dropped, says ISPA.
The scores for Frogfoot, Openserve, Vumatel and Dark Fibre Africa have all dropped, says ISPA.

Confidence in South Africa’s fibre network operators (FNOs)is waning, according to industry representative body, the Internet ServiceProviders’ Association (ISPA).

It today released the results of its most recent FNOPerception Survey.

The survey measures the views of the internet industry association’s members on SA’s many FNOs, with 50 internet service providers (ISPs) participating in the February 2024 poll.

ISPA’s members were asked to rate the FNOs they do business with across 11 criteria, on a scale of 0 to 10. The previous survey took place in August 2023.

According to the survey, ISPs’ views of Link Africa and Liquid Intelligent Networks have improved the most in the last six months, while opinions on Metrofibre and Octotel have remained positive.

However, scores for Frogfoot, Openserve, Vumatel and DarkFibre Africa have dropped, says the association.

The two top-rated FNOs also dominated the rankings for individual metrics, with Metrofibre scoring highest for technical proficiency(7.5), communications (6.9), friendliness of staff (7.9), business processes(7.4), software systems (6.9) and optimism (6.7), while Link Africa excelled in value for money (7.8) and open access principles (7.9), says ISPA.

It notes that despite slipping significantly in the overall ratings, Openserve retained top spot for reliability (7.9).

Octotel remained the FNO with the best support for ISPs(7.1). The two networks that ISPs were most likely to recommend to other ISPs were Metrofibre and Liquid Intelligent Networks (tied at 6.4).

Overall, ISPA noted that ISPs’ confidence in their FNOs has slipped slightly since August, with the annual average of all FNOs dropping by0.2 points to 6.0. The lowest scoring criteria overall are:

  • Optimism about whether an FNO will improve in the future (5.5).
  • Support provided to ISPs by FNOs (5.4).
  • The likelihood of recommending a particular FNO to another ISP (5.3).

ISPA believes FNOs hoping to improve their score in the future should consider streamlining the support they provide to ISPs, making sure they have processes and staff capacity to resolve common issues, such as the difficulties consumers face when trying to migrate lines between ISPs.

For the February survey, ISPs were given the opportunity to provide freeform feedback to each FNO. The industry body notes this feedback unexpectedly revealed the importance of FNOs’ account managers.

ISPs with a good account manager tended to rate that FNO far more positively, while those with a less skilled account manager were much more critical towards that FNO overall, it says.

Source: ISPA
Source: ISPA