MWEB Connect head of products Rihana Hoosain said that the reality is that most Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in South Africa throttle their uncapped subscribers, and “have restrictions in place on the amount of data consumers are downloading and the speed at which they are downloading it”.
“MWEB has been vocal about throttling and about consumers having the right to have both an affordable Internet connection with the best possible experience where they can enjoy uncapped Internet without being slowed down because of data usage,” said Hoosain.
“MWEB doesn’t throttle but rather shapes its network which means that the ISP manages the network and allows certain traffic like browsing the Internet, online gaming, YouTube, e-mail and VoIP to take preference.”
Uncapped broadband and bandwidth usage has been a delicate balancing act across the world, and many strategies – including throttling and shaping – are employed to try to ensure high service levels to customers.
The biggest problem relates to high-end users who consume large amounts of bandwidth. To limit the impact of these users on a network, bandwidth management strategies like throttling and shaping (typically during business hours) are used.
MWEB argues that shaping makes more sense than throttling because it does not affect popular online services like browsing the Internet, online gaming, YouTube, e-mail and VoIP to take preference.
“With the demand for fast uncapped internet increasing; we are finding more people online exploring and experiencing rich media content, live streaming broadcasts and downloading their favourite content,” said Hoosain.
“The demand for bandwidth has increased alongside this growth and many ISP’s are facing ever increasing strain on their network infrastructure. They simply can’t keep up with the demand and are forced to throttle a user’s connection during peak periods on the network,” explained Hoosain.
“Consumers should certainly shop around for the best ADSL deals but they need to be aware of the factors that can affect Internet speeds and ask potential ISP’s to provide them with all the information and terms and conditions prior to signing up with them,” said Hoosain.