Fibre internet service provider versus the fibre network operator.

ISP Versus FNO

Internet service provider verse the fibre network operator.

There can be confusion between what an internet service provider (ISP) does versus what a fibre network operator (FNO) does. Who is responsible for what when it comes to bringing a rocket-fuelled internet experience into your home? Allow us to explain, to put you in the picture.

The modern-day, digital age middleman.

Here’s what an internet service provider is supposed to do.

Customers browse internet service offerings online with the intent to purchase high-quality fibre internet so they can watch Netflix, Showmax and more recently, Britbox

The customer makes a purchase decision for the fibre internet package that would best suit their needs. They choose that package based on the FNO available in their area. That FNO could be VUMA, Openserve, MTN, Octotel, or any of the many FNO’s available. The FNO is the company that ran fibre optic cable, either above or below ground, to a point where connection to the home is the next step. 

The ISP is the middleman between the FNO and the customer and the entity that implements the next step. The ISP delivers internet connectivity by installing a WiFi router and opening the gateway to delivering fibre internet into the home. 

Internet service provider deliver fibre internet to the home.
ISPs deliver fibre internet to the home.

It’s all about a great internet experience.

The primary function of an ISP is to provide a great internet experience at a competitive price. The ISP is client-facing and has the mandate to supply quality service and look after the end user by ensuring they have the best internet experience. Once connected, the ISP then provides the customer ongoing after-sales support. At RocketNet we have an array of complimentary services available to our customers. These include the RocketNet Probe app and an RSS feed that provides live network status updates.

If disruptions occur in internet connectivity, the ISP, not the FNO, is obligated to resolve those issues with the customers they manage. 

It's all about a great internet experience.
It’s all about a great internet experience.

The fibre network operator is a wholesaler.

An FNO is not the manufacturer of fibre optic cables that connect the world to the internet. They are the wholesaler of those cables. They make the internet available by laying fibre cables under or above the ground and specialise in ICT (information and communications technology) infrastructure rather than working directly with customers. 

From time to time, an FNO tries to approach customers directly. The trouble with this approach is that it comes at the cost of poor customer service, and if a customer doesn’t get what they pay for, there’s limited recourse. Recourse is limited because the FNO owns the cable connected to that customers home. Therefore the customer has no luxury of moving to a different ISP.

ISPs create healthy competition and accountability.

When you have multiple ISPs competing for customer acquisition and loyalty, it keeps service delivery and pricing on a level playing field. When end-users have different ISP’s to choose from and not one FNO, then each will innovate and sweat to keep customers happy.

Customers must have a choice of service providers
Customers must have a choice of service providers.

ISP’s focus on customised internet service experiences rather than the infrastructure. In this way, customers benefit the most. One FNO can distribute through 20 ISPs that are all competing for customer attention. Only the best internet service experience at the most competitive price will keep winning customer’s over. And, if an ISP drops the ball, the customer can switch. That is why customers should deal with independent internet service providers. 

What is meant by an independent ISP?

Glad you asked. What we mean by independent is that an FNO does not own a specific ISP. They exist purely for customer engagement. ISPs are those who keep the balance between holding the FNO accountable to competitive pricing and maintaining service delivery at the highest standard.

So, our advice is to choose an independent ISP and stick with them as long as they provide you with the best service.

A RocketNet sales pitch.

A value held at RocketNet is that we fundamentally believe in providing our customers with a great internet experience. Being an internet service provider (ISP) is our passion and not a means to an end. If you are suffering from a poor experience, we will turn those poor experiences into great ones.