General FAQs

Who is Mitchells Fibre?

Mitchells Fibre is a subsidiary of Fibre Network Operator (FNO) in South Africa that currently builds high speed open access networks. As a subsidiary of this FNO, Mitchells Fibre builds and installs high-speed open access fibre optic networks in residential suburbs in South Africa in order to provide a more affordable option of broadband to a wider community in South Africa. Mitchells Fibre is what is known as an FTTH (Fibre-To-The-Home) infrastructure provider. Mitchells Fibre is the company that builds and provides the infrastructure from our data centres, down the streets and into your home, the ISP provides you with the actual internet service that runs over our fibre network.

Why can’t I contact Mitchells Fibre Directly?

Mitchells Fibre builds and installs high-speed open access fibre optic networks in the Mitchells Plain area for in order Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to deliver their product offering to you; the end user of their services. Mitchells Fibre is therefore solely an infrastructure provider (FNO) and not an Internet service provider (ISP). We, therefore, do not provide you with your Internet service and as such, your queries and questions regarding products, pricing, availability etc. should be directed to your preferred ISP.

What is FTTH?

Fibre to the home (FTTH) refers to the usage of fibre optic cables as a medium (instead of the traditional copper cables) to connecting your home to fast, uncapped and affordable internet. Fibre to the home offers a highly stable and reliable network connection as the quality of service is not influenced by factors such as weather conditions, distance from data centre, electromagnetic and electrical interferences from power lines, nearby cabling, other radio frequencies etc.

What is Fibre?

Fibre optic cable is made of glass strands and is the most stable and sustainable material over which to deliver data and internet services. Data is transmitted over the fibre with pulses of light. Gone are the days of using conductive materials such as copper to transmit data. This is a big advantage of fibre vs. copper, as Telkom severely suffered from copper theft with their ADSL service offerings. Fibre optic cables has no street value, since the cable contains no precious metals, and as such the risk of theft is eliminated.

Why should I get Fibre?

Fibre Internet offers unlimited data with an around the clock, highly reliable, stable and fast internet connection in the comfort of your own home. Fibre internet is also cost effective compared to competing products (ADSL, Fixed LTE). Fibre internet opens up a world of possibilities and provides you with access to:

Unlimited data for your devices, Movie, Series and Music Streaming, Music, Interactive educational content, Online gaming, IoT technologies for home monitoring & security systems, Video calling, Cloud Storage, etc.

What does Open Access mean?

An open access network means that the infrastructure is available to many competing Internet Service Providers (ISPs) on equal terms, this in turn creates an open and highly competitive market among the ISPs to provide the most competitive products and services at the most affordable pricing to you, the end user.

Mitchells Fibre is therefore solely an infrastructure provider (FNO) and not an Internet service provider (ISP). We, therefore, do not provide you with your Internet service and we also do not dictate the pricing of the services from the ISP’s to you (the end user). As such, if you have any queries regarding   the pricing of packages, installation or activation fees, please liaise with your preferred ISP.

Think of Mitchells Fibre as the highway and your Internet Service Provider is the car they rent to you. You can rent any car you like and different cars have different features, benefits and costs. Your car allows you to enjoy the benefit of the highway and gets you from A to B as quickly as possible, however, the speed that you can travel on this highway are regulated by the ISP – Speed limits such as 10mbps, or 20mbps etc.

What’s an ISP?

An Internet Service provider (ISP) is the company you pay that provides you with your internet access over the Mitchells Fibre FTTH network. They essentially provide you with connectivity to the internet, and the endless possibilities that internet access offers.

Whilst Mitchells Fibre is the company that builds and provides the infrastructure from our data centres, down the streets and into your home, the ISP provides you with the actual internet service that runs over our fibre network.
We, therefore, do not provide you with your Internet service and we also do not dictate the pricing of the services from the ISP’s to you (the end user). As such, if you have any queries regarding the pricing of packages, installation or activation fees, please liaise with your preferred ISP.

Installation of Fibre in your Area

Phase 1 - Digging

Connecting your home to Mitchells Fibre involves the installation of installing fibre optic cables, underground, throughout your neighbourhood. Only once all approvals have been received from the respective Road Agencies and Municipalities, we will start the process of installing the fibre. You will receive notification in advance, via a letter (a Construction Notice) in your post-box, to inform you of the civil activities which will commence in your vicinity.

During this time, the construction process may have potential impacts, such as traffic, parking, and access changes, noise, utility interruptions, vibration, etc. The construction process involves the digging of pilot holes, digging of trenches, opening up of sidewalk, crossing of roads and driveways, and plating of manholes to name but a few. Thereafter, we close up and fully reinstate these surfaces.

Please take note that there’ll be a heavy presence of construction workers in your streets and neighbourhood during this time.

Phase 2 - Reinstatement

Mitchells Fibre uses specialist reinstatement teams to restore the sidewalks and driveways to their former glory. We will reinstate sidewalks and driveways to their original, or better, condition. Our construction teams take photos of your driveway and verge prior to construction for reference, so that we can reinstate the sidewalk to its original condition. If we happen to damage your irrigation, plants or pavements, we will rectify this during the reinstatement phase as well. We have a rigorous inspection process, where our quality assessment teams walk each block and highlight issues for the teams to rectify

Construction disruption

As with most construction work being done, it can be disruptive in some way or another. The construction process may have potential impacts, such as traffic, parking, and access changes, high levels of noise, utility interruptions, vibration, etc. We apologise in advance for this and ask for your patience during this time, as we will make every attempt to minimize disruption for the community and its residents.

Safety and Security

We have dedicated health and safety representatives on site to ensure the project is managed properly. Safety barricading is erected around construction areas to prevent injury. Workers carry identification tags and sign in and out of site every day. If you are aware of any safety risks, please feel free to make contact with the site foreman so we can address the concern immediately.

Service Damages

This does unfortunately occur from time to time. We make every effort to minimize this by obtaining permissions from other services providers prior to construction and digging pilot holes to expose services. It is, however, possible that we may damage existing services during the construction process. We will notify you when this happens and update you accordingly.

e work closely together with other service providers. Where we are unable to fix the problem ourselves, we call out the service provider to do the repairs. This is standard procedure. If you suddenly do not have water or electricity whilst we are active in the area, please inform us immediately and we will investigate the problem.

Hours of work?

Construction takes place from Monday to Fridays 08:00-17:00. No regular work is planned after hours, on weekends or public holidays. Please also bear in mind that we cannot perform any work during wet weather. We cannot reinstate trenches properly if the soil is damp as it leads to quality issues later. In such events we will monitor the site daily to ensure barricading is safely maintained until the work can commence again.

You damaged my property?

This is unlikely as we work in the public area. In the unlikely event of damage occurring to your property due to our construction activities, we are fully insured and responsible for fixing any damages we might have caused at our expense. Please inform us immediately by inboxing us on Facebook with photos of the damage if we have caused any damage to your property – we will immediately escalate this to the contractor onsite to remedy the situation.

Fibre to my area?

Will my area get fibre?

The cost of rolling out a fibre network in suburbs are extremely high and can vary slightly depending on the density of the dwellings, the soil conditions and type of sidewalks, the method of fibre deployment and technology used. Due to this cost of building a fibre network being incredibly high, it is very possible that the costs of delivering fibre services be pushed to a point where it might not be viable for us to roll out fibre. It is, therefore, crucial going to the webpage https://mitchellsfibre.co.za/ and showing your interest for fibre. Once enough residents have shown their interest, and we can justify the costs, we will evaluate and consider rolling out fibre to your area.

Please take note, that the colours on the webpage (when checking your coverage) denote the following:
Green = Your area is live and you can order a package from your preferred ISP.
Purple = Fibre is busy being rolled out in your area (Please note that this process takes up to 8 weeks to complete)
Yellow = Your area has been earmarked to receive fibre and fibre will be deployed in coming months – Please refer to the question “When will my area go live?” for more information.
Transparent = Your area could prospectively receive fibre in the future if we deem the demand high enough, please show your interest. 

Please keep an eye on our Facebook page for constant updates as to how we progress with the rollout of fibre in your neighbourhood https://www.facebook.com/mitchellsfibre/ see below for such updates posted on Facebook.

When will my area go live?

It is most economical to build fibre in a rolling fashion, from suburb to suburb, so you will generally find clusters of suburbs next to each other with fibre. In order to stay updated with how Mitchells Fibre are progressing on bringing you fast, reliable and uncapped internet to your doorstep, please keep an eye on our Facebook page. The Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/mitchellsfibre/) is updated regularly as to how we progress with the roll out of fibre in your neighbourhood.

The coverage map on our webpage (https://mitchellsfibre.co.za/) is also updated as we progress with the fibre rollout.
The colours on the webpage denote the following
Green = Your area is live and you can order a package from your preferred ISP.
Purple = Fibre is busy being rolled out in your area (Please note that this process takes up to 8 weeks to complete)
Yellow = Your area has been earmarked to receive fibre and fibre will be deployed in coming months – Please refer to the question “When will my area go live?” for more information.
Transparent = Your area could prospectively receive fibre in the future if we deem the demand high enough, please show your interest. 

Below are images of the updates on the coverage map from our website.

 

Buying a voucher from an ISP

Where to buy a voucher?

Once we have completed the installation of fibre in your area, your area will be “Live”. You can monitor the progress hereof on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/mitchellsfibre/

If your area is “Live” you will be able to buy a voucher from an ISP of your choice.

Different ISP’s, have different product offerings and prices and some might even have promotions and discounts on some of these offerings.

Go to the Mitchells Fibre webpage (https://mitchellsfibre.co.za/) and check your coverage. If the map displays your area as “Live”, you’ll be able to click on the “order” button where it’ll take you to the page where you can select an ISP.

Click on your preferred ISP, you’ll be directed to their website where you can select the package that’ll fulfil your needs. 

Follow the prompts on the ISP website until you have successfully purchased a voucher.

Refer to the question “I bought a voucher – What now” in the FAQ for more info on how to get a fibre installed into your home, or on loading a new voucher code.

When does the voucher clock start ticking?

Once you purchased a voucher, the clock on the voucher will not start ticking until it is loaded onto your profile and the service has been activated. The voucher can, therefore, remain in your possession until such a time that you are ready to upload the voucher onto the system.

You can also load multiple vouchers, from the same ISP, into your profile in the client portal. Once the 1st voucher expires, the next voucher will immediately activate.

Why is 20mbps the only speed available?

For now, during the initial phase if this fibre rollout in Mitchells Plain, a 20mbps will be the only offering, however, we are actively monitoring the market demand for higher speeds and along with the ISPs we’ll re-evaluate the viability of other product offerings based on the economic demand.

I bought a voucher? What now?

I need an installation?

Once a voucher has been purchased:

  • the ISP should direct you to a client-portal (https://[ISP NAME].client-prepaid.aex.co.za)
  • register as a new customer.

 

  • Read and Accept the T&C’s regarding your installation.

  • Enter and Search your address

  • Select the correct address from the list displayed

  • Load your voucher code received from the ISP

Once the voucher is loaded, an application for an installation will be sent to Mitchells Fibre (this is only applicable when you register a “new client”)

It is the action of adding the voucher code onto the portal that creates an application on our side for your installation.  Don’t worry, the clock on your voucher will not start ticking until your fibre has been installed and your service has been activated.

Your application will go through a verification and validation process and once completed, your installation order will be transferred to one of Mitchells Fibre’s accredited Installation Partners. You’ll receive a call from one of these agents to schedule your installation appointment.

  • Once the voucher code has been entered you’ll be able to see the status of your voucher

After the fibre has been installed and your service is up and running, you’ll be able to monitor the amount of days available on the voucher.

 

Please take note that this is also the portal (https://[ISP NAME].client-prepaid.aex.co.za) that’ll be used in future to:

  • for you to upload additional vouchers,
  • check the status of your voucher and
  • check the status of your service.

 

I’m already installed?

If the voucher purchased is with the same ISP that you were using previously (or are currently using) all you need to do is to log onto the client portal https://[ISP NAME].client-prepaid.aex.co.za, log in with your credentials,  and load the voucher.

Once activated you’ll be connected to high speed, uncapped internet.

In the case that the voucher is with a different ISP, please refer to the question in this FAQ: “I bought a voucher from a different ISP but I’m already installed?”

Can I load multiple vouchers?

In the case that you’ve bought multiple vouchers, you’ll be able to load a maximum of 6 vouchers at a time onto your profile. Once the first voucher expires, the voucher that is next-in-line will automatically activate and will service will continue as normal.

Please note, however, you will only be able to load vouchers from the same ISP onto your profile. Vouchers from different ISP’s cannot be mixed and matched. You’ll have to wait for the current voucher from, ISP-X, to expire, before you’ll be able to load the new voucher purchased from ISP-Y.

Why can’t I load a voucher from another ISP?

If you’re currently using the service from one of the ISP’s you will not be able to load another voucher from a different internet service providers (ISP) onto your profile. You’ll have to wait for the current voucher from, ISP-X, to expire, before you’ll be able to load the new voucher purchased from ISP-Y. Think of it almost like prepaid airtime, you cannot load Cell C airtime, if you’re still using Vodacom airtime. This voucher system works in a similar fashion.

I bought a voucher but I’m already installed?

Voucher bought from different ISP?

In the case that you decided to buy a voucher code from a different ISP than your current ISP, you will not be able to load the new voucher onto your profile, on the client portal https://[ISP NAME].client-prepaid.aex.co.za. The current voucher needs to run out before a voucher from a different ISP can be loaded. Refer to the question: “Why can’t I load a voucher from another ISP?” in this FAQ for more information.

Once the voucher has run out from, you’ll be able to load the new voucher from the ISP onto the client-portal.  Go to the portal https://[ISP NAME].client-prepaid.aex.co.za, you DO NOT have to register as a new client, because you’ve already installed (even though your voucher is with a new ISP).

Click on “Existing Client” and log in with your credentials, load and activate the voucher. Once activated you’ll be connected again to high speed, uncapped internet.

Please note that the new service could take up to 10min’s to be reconfigured once the voucher has been loaded and activated.

 

Voucher bought from the same ISP?

Once the voucher has run out from, you’ll be able to load the new voucher from the ISP onto the client-portal.  Go to the portal https://[ISP NAME].client-prepaid.aex.co.za, you DO NOT have to register as a new client, because you’ve already been installed (even though your voucher is with a new ISP).

Log in with your credentials, load and activate the voucher. Once activated you’ll be connected to high speed, uncapped internet again.

Please note, that if your service was suspended due to a voucher that expired, the new service could take up to 10min’s to be reconfigured once a new voucher has been loaded and activated.

Getting my fibre installed

I bought a voucher - I need to be installed?

Please refer to the question: “I bought a voucher – What now” in this FAQ, for guidance on how to order your in-home fibre installation.

My installation is scheduled – What now?

Once you have purchased your voucher and scheduled your installation appointment, an accredited installation partner will show up to your doorstep, on the day and time that you scheduled your installation in order to connect you to high speed, uncapped internet.

How long does an installation take?

Once your installation appointment has been scheduled, your physical installation should take between 2 to 4 hours depending on the complexity of the installation. As part of the fibre installation, a Fibre Device will installed. This Fibre Device will provide wireless internet access to other devices in your home such as your mobile phones, gaming consoles, smart Tv’s etc. Once the voucher purchased from the ISP, is loaded and activated you’ll gain access to the world of fast, uncapped, reliable internet. 

Do I need to be present during the installation?

Yes, it will be best if the head of the household could be present during the installation, as they will need to indicate to us where the Fibre Device needs to be installed. We would also advise you to be available in order for you to keep an eye on the installation taking place, to see where the fibre route runs (to avoid accidentally breaking it), to possibly advise the installers if furniture needs to be moved out of the way, and to ensure that you’re happy with the overall quality of workmanship of the installation team.

In the case that the head of the household cannot be present, a representative provided they are 18 years or older, can oversee the installation.

Once the installation is completed, the installation will have to be signed off by the respective person who supervised the installation. Please note that once the installation has been signed off, any route changes or moving of the Fibre Device, later, will incur costs from the resident.

Understanding my Huawei Fibre Device

How many devices can be connected?

Currently, the Fibre Device installed into your home, supports 10 devices to be connected wirelessly and one LAN port (LAN1) will be available to connect a device with an Ethernet cable (preferable CAT 5e or higher).

What happens when I reset my Fibre Device?

We would advise against pressing the reset button unless instructed to do so by a Mitchells Fibre support agent. When the reset button is pressed, the Fibre Device will lose all configurations and revert back to its factory default settings which will cause you to lose internet connectivity. In the case that the reset button has been pressed you’ll need to log a fault with your relevant ISP in order for the Fibre Device to be reconfigured.

Support

My internet is down?

The 1st step is to log onto the client portal (https://[ISP NAME].client-prepaid.aex.co.za) to check your service status:

If your service status is a green thumbs up, it means that your service is up and running and something else might be the issue.

If the service status is not a green thumbs up, your link might be down, and there are many reasons why your internet may be down.

  1. There may be scheduled or emergency maintenance in your area. This means that the fibre in your area may be damaged for some reason and Mitchells Fibre is fixing the issue. While Mitchells Fibre is fixing the fibre issue in your area, you will have no connectivity. You should receive a notification of this work. If you did not, we may not have your details in our database. You can find out if there is maintenance in your area by contacting your Internet Service Provider (ISP).
  2. There may have been a fibre break in your area. Sometimes another infrastructure provider may be digging up the sidewalks in the area to lay or maintain their infrastructure. This could include anything from electricity to road maintenance. Occasionally they accidentally cut through the Mitchells Fibre cables. Repairing a fibre break is a laborious and delicate task and can take at least 72 hours to resolve.
  3. Make sure your power is on and that the switch is on at your ONT. If there is no power to this device, then you will have no internet.
  4. Check to see that there is no visible damage to your fibre line. Sometimes our pets can’t resist chewing cables! If your fibre line has been damaged inside your property, it may need to be re-installed. Please contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP).
  5. There are also some technical reasons as to why your internet speeds may be down that are outside of your control. These include some technicalities on the ISP side and can include technicalities on the fibre side. After completing some basic troubleshooting, if your speed issues persist, please contact your ISP directly.

Troubleshooting to fix my internet

  1. Make sure there is no visible damage to your fibre line.
  2. Turn your ONT off. Wait for 5 minutes. Turn the ONT back on.
  3. Make sure the power is on and that you have power to the ONT.
  4. If the power light on the ONT is not on, try multiple different plugs as it may be the plug point or possibly the power supply.
  5. If after this troubleshooting process you still cannot connect, please contact your ISP.
Why does my internet connection keep disconnecting?

The 1st step is to log onto the client portal (https://[ISP NAME].client-prepaid.aex.co.za) to check your service status:

If your service status is a green thumbs up, it means that your service is up and running and something else might be causing the intermittent connectivity.

There are many reasons why your internet connection may keep dropping:

  1. If you are connected to a Wi-Fi router you may not experience consistent internet. Your connectivity can be affected by how far away you are from your router and your home may have barriers to the Wi-Fi connectivity including thick walls, metal panels, and some electronic devices. Electronic devices on a 2.4Ghz signal may cause interference to your Wi-Fi connection.
  2. If you cannot reach a particular website, it could be that the website is unavailable at the time
  3. There are also some technical reasons as to why your line may be dropping that are outside of your control. These include some technicalities on the ISP side and can include technicalities on the fibre side. After completing some basic troubleshooting, if your issues persist, please contact your ISP directly.

 Troubleshooting to fix the problem

  1. Try using different websites. If one particular website is unavailable, it may simply mean that that that website is experiencing issues.
  2. Turn your ONT off. Wait for 5 minutes. Turn the ONT back on.
  3. Disable your anti-virus and firewall. Does this improve your connectivity? If so, your anti-virus and firewall may be interfering with your internet connection. Be sure to turn these back on after testing, but if your issues can be located here, you may need to look into trying a new firewall or anti-virus software.
  4. Disconnect all Wi-Fi devices and plug your laptop via a LAN/Ethernet/Cat6 cable into the first port on the ONT. Use the internet while plugged directly into ONT. If your connection is now consistent, your issues may be due to Wi-Fi. If you still experience intermittent connectivity, please contact your ISP.

Once you have logged the fault with your ISP, they will investigate the issue further. If they find that the issue cannot be resolved at their layer, they will escalate the problem to MitchellsFibre for further investigation.

Why is my internet slow?

The 1st step is to log onto the client portal (https://[ISP NAME].client-prepaid.aex.co.za) to check your service status:

If your service status is a green thumbs up, it means that your service is up and running, and the diagnostics on your line are in a healthy status, and it is highly unlikely that the issue is fibre related.

There are many reasons why you may not be getting the right internet speeds.

  1. If you are connected to a Wi-Fi router you may not experience full speeds. Your connectivity can be affected by how far away you are from your router and your home may have barriers to the Wi-Fi connectivity including thick walls, metal panels, and some electronic devices. Electronic devices on a 2.4Ghz signal may cause interference to your Wi-Fi connection.
  2. If your speeds are slow on one particular website, it could be that the website is receiving a lot of traffic at once. See if the issue is the same on other websites?
  3. Speeds can also be slow when you are running multiple online applications in the background. The same goes for having multiple devices connected to the ONT and/or the Wi-Fi. If your whole family is streaming TV on separate devices at once this will congest the connection in your home and slow the internet down.
  4. Make sure that your devices always have the latest version of software. If your device requires updating, always do so. Updates ensure that your device is in the best condition. Updates running the background can also severely hamper your internet speeds.
  5. There are also some technical reasons as to why your internet speeds may not be fast enough that are outside of your control. These include some technicalities on the ISP side and may in rare cases include technicalities on the fibre side, if your speed issues persist, please contact your ISP directly. The majority of speed issues can be resolved at the ISP level.

Troubleshooting to fix my slow internet

  1. Try using different websites. If one particular website is slow, it may simply mean that that website is experiencing a lot of traffic at once.
  2. Turn your ONT off. Wait for 5 minutes. Turn the ONT back on.
  3. Run a speed test on the network by following these steps:
  • Make sure that no-one or no device in your home is using the internet. A speed test only tests the free capacity in your home. If you run a speed test while streaming at the same time, your results will be skewed.
  • Disable your anti-virus and firewall temporarily as these can interfere with your speeds. Be sure to turn these back on once you have completed the troubleshooting steps!
  • Disconnect all Wi-Fi devices and plug your laptop via a LAN/Ethernet/Cat6 cable into the first port on the ONT.
  • Run a speed test by going to net. This speed test will test the speed of your ISP connection on the network.
  1. If the speeds from the speedtest are unsatisfactory, please log a ticket with your ISP. If your speeds are confirmed to be fine with the ISP, they might arise from using Wi-Fi or from having multiple devices using the internet at once. We advise that you call in a trusted IT specialist to help you set up your Wi-Fi network in your home in such a way that will allow you to get higher speeds throughout your home.