As if the constant rain, cold temperatures and miserable grey sky wasn’t enough today, I have just learned that my internet connectivity here at Chez 6000 is so slow because the local exchange simply can’t handle the amount of traffic going through it. Thus, while paying for a 4Mbps line, I’m generally very lucky to get 500kbps. And that’s a bit rubbish to say the least.
When SEACOM landed and when I got the 4Mbps line, I did think that we were beginning to approach some sort of semblance of First World connectivity.
How wrong I was.
Of course, all parties involved (save for me) are protected from any liability for this, thanks to the convenient (but standard – I’m not blaming Afrihost for this) “best effort” service clause in the terms and conditions:
Due to the fact that Telkom cannot guarantee the bandwidth throughput achieved when subscribers access the Internet utilising a DSL access line, Afrihost can likewise also not offer such a guarantee.
Interestingly, paying R200 less per month for a 1Mbps connection gives me around 350kbps. Slower, and arguably even more frustrating, sure, but with an extra R200 to spend on Carling Black Label, it might work out better overall.
The fact is that the exchange in question will definitely not be upgraded this financial year and there’s no guarantee when, if ever, it will be upgraded. Any alternative, not using Telkom lines (and therefore the same exchange) seems prohibitively expensive. Decent speed uncapped wireless offerings come in at a hefty R819pm, plus a R2000 set up fee.
If anyone has any brilliant ideas, or a money tree that they’re willing to lend me, please get in touch.
All in all, it’s pretty depressing, and if it’s holding me back, heaven only knows how the local SMEs are coping.