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Local Bandwidth Sucks

May27

Written by:
2009/05/27 09:10 AM RssIcon

Oh how I hate Telkom! For the third time this month I have run out of bandwidth. My 3 gig cap was up before the middle of the month. Forcing me to buy more bandwidth three times before the end of the month. But wait you say, you still have 20gigs of local bandwidth. But that is not all fine and dandy as I soon found out.

Having 20 gigs of local bandwidth sounds great. But what many fail to understand is that this local bandwidth only comes into play once your blended, or paid for, bandwidth has been capped. Then there is the point of where the servers sit. Many co.za domains are hosted overseas, because of the pricing structure and bandwidth constraints. In South Africa it is very expensive to host websites. As a result companies hosting outside of South Africa do not form part of Local Bandwidth. Leaving you with few worthy sites to choose from.

When we do come across sites that are indeed hosted locally, they tend to be so slow because they have content that is streamed from international servers. Things like ad campaigns, news items, weather, sport, or any outside content. This type of content is what gives particular sites their rich appeal. But for local bandwidth, this sucks. The reason being, the site does not complete its rendering until it gets valid content or a time out from these international sites.

Even sites like Ananzi, and to some degree sites like News24, become extremely slow even to the point of being un-usable because of internationally streamed content. So what use is 20 gig of local bandwidth when you still can’t read or browse half the sites. At least the good and worthwhile sites.

I’m not disputing that there are some decent local sites around. But, can you name them off the top of your head? Which sites do you normally frequent? For me, it’s Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Programming blogs. Even the top programmers and bloggers in this country host their sites overseas.

When will we get free and fair internet bandwidth? When will the shark, Telkom, let go of their monopoly hold on the South African bandwidth? When will we have decent competition?

You say that competition is here. Well I say not so much. Why? Because at the moment, any competition has to either use Telkom's infrastructure, which leaves you back to where you started, being controlled by Telkom, or put in their own. Putting in your own infrastructure is a very expensive and time consuming exercise. Making the possibility of cheap fast internet a very distant science fiction story.

What's your experience with local bandwidth? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

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4 comment(s) so far...


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Re: Local Bandwidth Sucks

I've been suffering from internetlessness for a few days of every month now for a while! And you're right, the majority of locally hosted sites are lank slow :P

By Galen on  2009/05/27 11:27 AM
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Re: Local Bandwidth Sucks

Galen,

Yep, it's so frustrating

By Robert Bravery on  2009/05/27 11:37 AM
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Re: Local Bandwidth Sucks

You know Robert I love South Africa but lets face it, there are no local web content the world will miss. Google, Twitter, Facebook all from oversees. I blame Telkom for this! If we had more people online, working, playing and chatting people like us could also provide better websites. If we want to join the rest of the world we need to pay less for Internet and and have more South African's online!

By Pieter on  2009/05/27 02:14 PM
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Re: Local Bandwidth Sucks

Pieter,

I absolutely agree with you. No place like SA, but the leaders suck. It makes sense to host locally, especially for local business. Faster speeds, etc. But many are forced to go elsewhere because of the high costs. IF the costs would be brought down, many will return. This could only be good for the economy
So if 1000 sites are hosted overseas, and only 10 in SA. If the cost of those 10 is R1000. Then that works out to R50000. But if we drop the costs to R100, and those 1000 sites come back, then we're looking at R100000. Double the profit for 10% of the cost. Simple economics.
But people in SA are so greedy, they want it all.

By Robert Bravery on  2009/05/27 04:21 PM
 
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