Afrihost fires new salvo in broadband war - TechCentral

Afrihost fires new salvo in broadband war


Internet service provider Afrihost has become the fourth Internet service provider to introduce cut-price ADSL bandwidth, undercutting the price of uncapped products announced by MWeb last week.

Afrihost will launch uncapped ADSL bandwidth, excluding Telkom rental, for just R197/month for consumers with a 384Kbit/s line. A 512Kbit/s uncapped offering is available for R297/month and 4Mbit/s users will pay R497/month.

“When we launched our R29/GB offer almost six months ago, we knew SA Internet users craved more affordable ADSL, says Afrihost CEO Gian Visser (pictured). “At the time, most ISPs charged around R70/GB (and many still do), so our move really shook up the ISP industry.”

Visser says Afrihost has been developing an uncapped offering for several months already. He admitted in a recent interview that MWeb had beaten Afrihost to the punch with its announcement last week.

The company’s 4Mbit/s uncapped offering is available immediately, though the number of accounts may be limited initially.

“Users who sign up for the uncapped package in the initial beta testing stage will lock-in this package and price in for as long as they are Afrihost customers, though the company is not planning on increasing prices,” Visser says.

He says the other uncapped offerings will be made available once the company has “comprehensively tested the performance of its uncapped service and the
impact on the Afrihost network”.

The uncapped service “has some restrictions and  disadvantages that the capped packages from Afrihost do not have. The uncapped packages allow only one  connection for each account while the capped packages allow many simultaneous connections from different locations for each account.”

Also, the uncapped ADSL service will also have a higher “contention ratio” than the capped service. “This means more users are allocated to a certain chunk of bandwidth in  uncapped than is the case with capped services. If many users are  simultaneously making use of the network, then uncapped will be slightly
slower than capped,” Afrihost says.

“People who value network speed and performance, especially during office hours, may still find a capped package to be the best option for them.”

According to Visser, it makes sense to move over to an uncapped offering if consumers use more than 7GB a month on a 384Kbit/s line; 11GB on 512Kbit/s; or 17GB on 4Mbit/s.

“Unless you literally move hundreds of GBs per month this service will be  uncapped for you with no catches at all,” says Visser. “However, we will take action on the minority who through their usage start affecting all of  our other clients’ internet experience.”

Afrihost says the uncapped service is “designed for humans who want to use the Internet as much as they want — for some downloading, streaming media, browsing, and more. It is not designed for computer programs that are set up to
continuously download 24/7, 30 days a month.”  — Staff reporter, TechCentral

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