Blended versus local only ADSL data

In South Africa broadband access is closely associated with strict monthly usage limits, and ADSL services are no exception.  Uncapped ADSL accounts are available, but the price for these accounts typically exceeds the budget of most local consumers.

ADSL data costs generally range between R50 per GB and R70 per GB, which means that ADSL subscribers watch their usage very closely.  Local ADSL data charges are however far cheaper – as low as R129 for a 30 GB account – and this has prompted a few noble MyBroadband community members to develop ADSL traffic splitting systems.

These ADSL traffic splitting systems – described here – allow subscribers to use cheaper local ADSL bandwidth for local traffic and more expensive blended ADSL bandwidth for international traffic. 

ADSL traffic splitting can significantly reduce a high end ADSL subscriber’s bandwidth bill, but this is something which wholesale bandwidth providers may not be entirely happy about.  The reason is simple:  Blended ADSL data is priced based on an assumed split in local and international bandwidth usage by the subscriber.  By employing an ADSL traffic splitting solution blended bandwidth is used for purely international traffic which costs significantly more than local traffic.

The good news is that the number of people which actually make use of ADSL traffic splitting is very low, and it is not something which ISPs can do much about.  It is therefore a classic case where innovation and know-how is handsomely rewarded and where noble community members can work towards the greater good of the community as a whole.

There have been calls from consumers that a traffic shaping solution be implemented at an ISP level – where users are given two different bills for local and international bandwidth usage – but what is sometimes forgotten is that a wholesale bandwidth provider may not charge the typical R50 – R70 per GB for pure international bandwidth as this price is based on blended usage (which includes cheaper local bandwidth). 

The do-it-yourself solution is therefore a better and most likely cheaper route to follow than requesting that ISPs to come up with a traffic splitting solution.

ADSL Traffic Splitting – discussion

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Blended versus local only ADSL data