Faster and cheaper access? Not yet…

Posted: August 23, 2009 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

So there’s been a lot of hope and excitement about the impact of the new Seacom undersea cable which provides us with increased international bandwith – multiple times the speed at 80% less of a cost. I was hoping that we’d see the benefits soon after deployment of the cable (which happened on 23 July), but there’s nary a sight of them on the horizon.


One of the reasons seems to be (from a report here) that companies are still tied into fairly lengthy contracts for use of the existing SAT-3 cable ripoff. Makes sense that they would only be able to lower their prices then as they were able to run those contracts out and brought more of the Seacom access into the mix. I can’t avoid the cynical thought, though, that they may just want to keep charging consumers who are already used to paying high prices so that they can pocket the difference all for themselves. Here’s hoping real competition proves me wrong – otherwise the Competition Commission might just have more work to do. If we’re actually to move with the rest of the world into the digital age and use broadband as it’s meant to be used, rather than just as fast dial-up, cheaper and faster access is critical.

Anyway, it seems that lower prices are at least 12 to 18 months away so I’ve had to try to decide what is going to work best for us and it’s been rather frustrating. Usually, I’d recommend ADSL to people but the quality of the copper in our area is so appalling that it’s a no go – we tried that option and had to ditch it. Wireless connectivity options abound, but they are expensive if you’re not willing to be tied into a contract of two years as operators require you to purchase your own equipment (even if they offer it to you on a financed option). Not wanting to shell out R2,500+ for routers from various providers (I want to share my connection with at least 3 machines), I’ve opted for a 3G option tied to using WMWifiRouter on one of my old devices (gotta find a use for them!). It’s actually working relatively well – as long as I don’t use my internet access to compare our pricing with the rest of the world…

I’d be curious to know what kind of setup others are using – let me know.

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