Understanding Fiber speeds and usage

The internet

The internet is a wonderful thing. You can go to Google for example, type in any topic and get instant answers from anywhere about anything.

The reason it works is that the internet is a connection between so many points in the world. It is like a web – which is why it got the name.


The fastest way for information to travel around this system is on fibre. Fibre is awesome. Imagine, it doesn’t send the information by electric impulses – it sends the information with beams of light! This is really fast, so you can send so much more information in such a short time. This is how you can get TV and Movies on fibre. If you are really interested you can read up on it, starting here. But, if fibre is so fast – why do I sometimes find it slowing down?

Let’s take a look at a few things that will help to explain.

What is Liquid Telecom Fibre?

Unlike your radio, Liquid Telecom Fibre is not ‘broadcast’ – it is a direct connection. A Liquid Telecom Fibre fibre runs from our Head Office, along all the streets and right to your gate. It is then connected directly to you when you sign up. (You might remember the team having to come in and lay your own fibre from the street – actually into your home).

So now you have your Liquid Telecom Fibre connection from your place – all the way to our place.

So how does it work?

Let us use a highway as a metaphor to explain.

Not an ordinary highway – but a wide, smart, multi-lane highway. A state-of-the-art highway. A super-highway if you like.

We have built this Liquid Telecom Fibre Digital Super-Highway to carry all the digital information to and from the web. It has cost us a fortune in design, permissions, engineering deployment, import duty, street excavations, laying ducting, fibre optic cables and finally housing and powering state of the art active equipment to run our Liquid Telecom Fibre Digital Super-Highway. The overall cost and investment, goes well beyond US$100 for every metre that we have installed - and there are over 44,000kms installed so far.

Plus, the costs to maintain the network on an ongoing basis need to be added.

The easy answer would be to sell the Fibre at US$100 a metre. But if you lived 4km from our office, we think a charge of US$ 400,000 plus maintenance would probably be way too expensive for most homeowners. Actually, way too expensive for anyone!

So we use a different model – based on the concept of a “Highway”.

What we can do, is charge you when you go on the highway, a bit like a tollgate charges drivers on a real highway.

This seems sensible. You know from driving that you don’t need to own a complete motorway in order to get great use out of it. You just need to be allowed on when you want to travel from A to B.

And like a toll-road, we don’t know when you will be on the Liquid Telecom Fibre Digital Super-Highway, for how long, or where you want to go. So we provide you with access, and we charge for how much you want to travel and at what speed.

It’s the same with all fibre services. The highway is built, and customers are charged for using it.

The difference with us is that we treat each user as an individual – if you occasionally need to go on line-during ‘Office’ hours, you will still get your full service. It is only if you go on to make heavy downloads and if you do this often, that we will see you as someone who should actually be on a Business package. Then we will slow you down to let ‘fair’ users past.

What about speeds?

We also have fast lanes and slow lanes (the same as the actual highway). So if you take out a “Faster” package you pay a little more and you get to drive in the fast lane more often. (As you know, compared to speeds on normal roads, all the lanes on a highway are actually really fast. It’s the same with the Liquid Telecom Fibre Digital Super-Highway).

So the more speed you buy, the faster you can go down the Liquid Telecom Fibre Digital Super-Highway.


Like all highways, the information Super-Highway has a “rush hour”. This is a time when everyone seems to want to go on-line.

But we noticed two things about this:

  1. About 80% of our traffic between 8am and 6pm was business traffic
  2. Businesses HAVE to be on at this time in order to do business

This gave us the answer to making Fibre affordable to Home users. We do this by charging a premium to get onto the highway between 8am and 6pm. Businesses have to be on at this time of day – so they pay the higher rates (See our Office package pricing for details)

This enabled us to make our Home packages affordable. BUT, the Home users should avoid heavy use of the Liquid Telecom Fibre Digital Super-Highway during the digital “Rush Hour”.

This seems to work. Very well in fact. Home Users can still use the Liquid Telecom Fibre Digital Super-Highway between 8am and 6pm for normal e-mails and the like – but if a Home User tries to download a movie during the “Rush Hour” they will find themselves “stuck in traffic”.

Remember – our Business users have paid a premium to get onto the Liquid Telecom Fibre Digital Super-Highway during the busy time – so their traffic will get the priority. That means a Home User will usually have to allow a Business User to go past. Not always though. Our system carefully monitors the amount of usage, and if someone occasionally needs to be on doing heavy down-loads during working hours – that’s OK. But the system will discourage people who are OFTEN on during business hours. We need to make it fair.

So how should I work it?

The simple answer is – use the Liquid Telecom Fibre Digital Super-Highway when it isn’t rush hour.

This is what the Home packages are designed for.

You pay a much, much lower price – but get full access to the Liquid Telecom Fibre Digital Super-Highway after work and on the weekends. (And you can still do basic e-mailing or searching during working hours. It’s the downloading of films for example that will slow you down during working hours.)

Outside working hours you can download movies and games, use high-bandwidth applications – everything. All without being slowed down. It’s like driving on a motorway when no one else is there. Fantastic!

You get champagne service at lemonade prices.

In conclusion…

So this is the how we have managed to make the Liquid Telecom Fibre Digital Super-Highway affordable for your Home.

The Liquid Telecom Fibre Digital Super-Highway is a game changing technology that we have managed to bring to residential users – and we have found a way to do this at prices that are affordable. Fair usage for fair payment. It’s simple – and it works.