ISP & FNO – What’s the difference & why you need to know!

By : Christopher Wray | March 05, 2021 | Blog

ISP & FNO – What’s the difference & why you need to know!

March 05, 2021

In order to get Fibre, the fastest form of internet connectivity into your home, you need two types of service providers to help you out – a Fibre Network Owner (FNO) and an Internet Service Provider (ISP). Here are the key differences between an FNO and an ISP. 

What is an FNO? 

FNO stands for Fibre Network Owner, and as their name suggests they are the companies that own and manage your Fibre optic connectivity infrastructure. FNOs are responsible for laying down the Fibre infrastructure in your area; they trench and lay the Fibre optic cables, and then install the Fibre boxes outside your boundary wall, and connect the newly-trenched Fibre lines to this box. 

Once you have ordered Fibre, they install ONT devices in your residence, which you use to connect your router to. 

Examples of FNOs throughout South Africa include Octotel, Frogfoot, Openserve and Vumatel. 


What is an ISP? 

ISP stands for Internet Service Provider, and they are the service provider you order your Fibre packages and data from in order to get connected to the internet! 

RSAWEB is an ISP and we are responsible for the day-to-day management of your Fibre line, which includes handling any technical or account issues. It is also our responsibility to ensure that you are receiving the agreed-upon speeds you are paying for and to make sure that you don’t experience any downtime!  

Essentially, ISPs like RSAWEB sell internet packages on the Fibre networks that have been built by the various FNOs. 


In summary 

Fibre Network Owner (FNO) manages and owns your Fibre optic connectivity infrastructure. An Internet Service Provider (ISP) provides you, the customer, with an internet service to your required devices. 

This means an FNO installs and maintains its own Fibre network infrastructure, which is then used by the ISP to give the customer access to internet connectivity solutions. 


Who should you contact to find out if your area already has Fibre installed? 

Your ISP will have this information on hand. For instance, at RSAWEB we have a live map search function that allows you to simply enter your home address into our search bar, click search, and wait as we show you if your area is Fibre ready or if it is still waiting for an FNO to install Fibre optic cables. To find out if your area is Fibre ready, click here and enter your address into the search field. 


Who should you order Fibre from? 

You need to order your desired Fibre package from an ISP, such as RSAWEB. They will help identify the best Fibre package and deal that is right for your particular needs. When choosing an ISP, you should not only look at the package prices, but also the value that come with it. At RSAWEB, we provide our customers with up to R4500 of savings like a free premium router, 1Gb of free mobile data each month, up to R2500 in credit for every friend they refer, and free installation and connection in selected areas. You should also look at the ISP’s Google rating as this will give you an accurate indication of how good their customer service truly is. At RSAWEB, we are the top-rated ISP with a 4.5/5-star Google rating – a testament to how well we serve our customers. 


Who should you call when experiencing issues with your Fibre line? 

If you experience any issues with your Fibre line, you should contact your ISP. They should proceed by performing line checks to ensure that the issue or issues you are experiencing aren’t related to your ONT device. They should then proceed to help you get to the bottom of things. 



We hope that we shared a bit of knowledge with you that weren’t aware of previously, and that this helps you if you are looking to purchase Fibre now or in the future. Our hope was to eliminate any confusion, and show you that it’s really so simple because it all gets handled for you! If you would like to order Fibre and choose RSAWEB and your ISP of choice, click here and see what Fibre packages we can provide you with! 

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