This pricing compares favourably with competing uncapped ADSL offerings in the market, and according to Web Africa their subscribers can expect higher service levels than their competitors.
However, Web Africa’s fair use policy drew sharp criticism from consumers.
Fair use policy
Web Africa explained that their home uncapped product uses 6 hour and 7 days rolling windows to ensure “your account keeps running smoothly”.
“If you reach your rolling windows within 6 hours or 7 days, respectively, your maximum download speed will be de-prioritised until your usage falls below your limit again.”
“How much your speed is reduced will depend on how many other users have been de-prioritised, as well as whether we have available capacity on the network.”
Much better than you may expect
Web Africa CEO Tim Wyatt-Gunning explained that in their effort to be transparent about their shaping policy they completely under-sold the reality of their uncapped product performance.
“We neglected to tell you what happens should you fall into our shaped rolling 6 hour ‘dog box’ – many consumers assume some kind of apocalypse where their downloads/browsing is all but cut off. It might have been true from their previous bad experiences, but it is simply not the case with us,” said Wyatt-Gunning.
The Web Africa CEO explained that ‘shaped’ traffic will be prioritised lower than other traffic during business hours – “nothing more, nothing less”.
Wyatt-Gunning explained that being de-prioritised on the Web Africa network will have the same impact as on some other networks.
Web Africa estimates that the average speeds a shaped user will achieve will be:
- 50% of their un-shaped speed during business hours,
- 80% of their un-shaped speed between 5pm and 10pm
- 100% of their un-shaped speed between 10pm and 7am, as well as the whole weekend
“We can’t commit to the percentages simply because it depends on other traffic on our network at the time, not because we are hiding anything. If customer experiences are markedly different, they should let us know and we will try to do something about it,” said Wyatt-Gunning.
Wyatt-Gunning further challenged their competitors to be transparent about their shaping policies – similar to Web Africa. “We challenge them to publish them,” said Wyatt-Gunning.