Seacom is going to be one of the best things to happen to South Africa. We’ve now been stuck with Telkom’s ridiculous broadband prices for more than a decade, and it finally looks like things are shaping up. Lets have a look at a few companies that are now offering low-cost bandwidth direct from Seacom:
A new company, Digichilli seems to be on the warpath by offering a rather unusual package. Starting from R499 for their 384Kb/s uncapped package, they allow two concurrent connections on one account. In short, two ADSL lines and modems in separate areas can use the same account. These lines can be at home, you can have one at work and home, and you can even have one at your friend’s.
That’s right, Digichilli lets you share the account with a friend if you so wish, definitely a huge feature that’s sure to bother a few competitors. Connections start from 256Kb/s line speed and use burst mode to boost your speed to 384Kb/s. This is different because Telkom drops their 384 DSL users to that speed when trying to sync to their interchanges. This could mean that users possibly won’t suffer from sync problems as their speeds are throttled.
An established company with its finger in the WiMAX and WiFi markets (with a good degree of success), Screamer offers uncapped ADSL from R399 per month. That may seem like a bargain, but I’m pretty sure there’s a trade-off involved. Users on the Mybroadband forums have been experiencing some problems and slowdowns with double NAT translation, but other than that, there doesn’t seem to be a catch… yet. They also carry the lowest per-gig prices, beating out Afrihost by R6. As time passes, Screamer’s WiMAX offering may even beat out conventional ADSL as more people sign up.
Afrihost is credited with starting the current price war by advertising its no-contract, no-catch R29 per gig ADSL package just over a month ago. The special is still on at the moment, but when compared to Screamer’s offering, it looks like they’ve been beaten already. Being Afrihost, they probably have a trick or two up their sleeve, though, so watch this space.
One might not think it, but Telkom have also slashed prices to fall in line with their competitors. While their “Do One” package remains unchanged, the “Do Two” and “Three” have now changed to the “Do Three” and “Winston Special”. So, the company actually remains a very good option, as the Winston Special is good value for money.
Inevitably, people will ask which is the best option. While Screamer and Digichilli share the prize for uncapped ADSL, the best option looks set to be Telkom’s Fastest DSL 4Mb/s line coupled with Screamer’s 5GB of data. This works out cheaper than uncapped 384Kb/s, and if you run out of cap, its only an extra R23 per gig. For the online or casual gamer, this is definitely a very attractive online gaming option. We won’t have to worry about Steam download sizes for much longer.