With new broadband offers being announced almost every day, it’s becoming difficult for SA consumers to know where to turn for the best deals.
Broadband prices, especially over Telkom’s digital subscriber line (DSL) network, have plummeted in recent months, partly as a result of the new Seacom undersea cable system, which has driven down international bandwidth costs.
But keeping up with all these announcements is almost impossible. So an enterprising broadband user, Eve Dmochowska, has launched a service, known as The Broadband Bible, to help users see, at a glance, the latest offerings that are available.
“I like being able to compare apples with apples, but it is very difficult to do this with Internet service providers and their DSL offerings,” Dmochowska says. “For example, I wanted to understand why some service providers charged three times the price of others for a product that seemed identical.”
She says it easy to “get lost in the terminology and fine details of the plans, without understanding the differences, or lack thereof”.
“I realised that what the industry needed was a tabulated comparison of the different plans.”
Dmochowska says she will keep the list updated at least monthly and plans to use it as the basis for the launch of a new business she has co-founded, called The Buyers Bibles. The business plans to offer comparisons between printers, laptops, displays, digital cameras, and so on, to help consumers make buying decisions.
Internet service providers will be listed for free, though “they can add information about their companies for a fee”, Dmochowska says. “This is kept intentionally low — R1 000/year – and is meant to cover the administration costs of keeping the information up to date.”
Interested service providers can submit their product information and pricing using an Excel file, which is then integrated into a PDF document and is available for free download.
The service, which is still in beta, will also soon include 3G and Wi-Fi offerings. “A similar comparison table will be launched to compare cellphone costs across the three mobile networks and their different – and very confusing – calling plans.” — Duncan McLeod, TechCentral