Bandwidth Blowout

Where have you ever heard about an INCREASE in bandwidth prices lately?

In South Africa, Internet users are feeling the boot of the monopolistic telephone company on their necks.
I’m referring to ADSL specifically now.

Here, we have to pay an excessive ADSL “line rental” fee, on top of the normal telephone line rental.

The ADSL rentals are as follows, US $ conversions in brackets:

  • 1024 = R680ZAR per month ($103.29)
  • 512 = R477ZAR per month ($72.52)
  • 384 = R359ZAR per month ($54.53)
  • 192 = R270ZAR per month ($41)

Yes, they think 384 & 192 are broad band.

Add on to that price an additional R92.28ZAR ($14) if you’re a residential user, or R122.60ZAR ($18.61) if you’re a business for the telephone line rental, regardless of whether you have a telephone attached. (Note that this is the same copper pair!)

And THEN you have to get your ISP account so that you can actually use your ADSL line.

Prices vary from ISP to ISP, but it’s not by much.
(In this case, I’ll use the same telco’s ISP prices)

  • 3Gb R269ZAR ($40.87)
  • 2Gb R199ZAR ($30.20)
  • 4Gb Unshaped R699ZAR ($106)

Note that each package is the amount of bandwidth that you can use. For the most part (currently), once you reach the 3Gb limit, you get CAPPED. This means that they route your traffic through a very slow international link (so slow that it is unuseable), but allow you unlimited “local” (same network) traffic.

(3Gb is enough?? I used that in the first 3 days after getting my ADSL line installed! – And that’s just normal browsing / email and a couple of downloads on 384! Can’t afford faster!)

Some ISPs have been using a loophole with their bandwidth resale agreements, and have been offering up to a maximum of 30Gb accounts for R299ZAR ($45).

In order to counter this, the telco is now restructuring their bandwidth pricing as from 1 November 2005.

Now, the bandwidth costs are insane!

That same 30Gb package that could be had for R299 is now going to cost you in the region of R2000ZAR ($303) !!!!
If you don’t like the preset packages, by all means, you may purchase bandwidth on a per Gb basis – at a cost of R75 ($11.39) per Gb.

Also – there’s going to be a hard cap. If you reach your bandwidth limit, you get disconnected, and that’s that. No Internet until next month.

Now that’s just insane!

If you’re a foreign company looking to invest in South Africa, fuhgeddaboudit! Or make sure you bring a large jar of KY jelly, cuz you’re gonna get screwed.

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