Afrihost subscribers have been complaining on the MyBroadband forum, Twitter, and Facebook about the poor performance they are getting on the Internet service provider’s ADSL network.
The company has acknowledged there are issues, with a network status update on its website stating that some clients are experiencing problems due to a high demand for bandwidth on the network.
Adding to already high levels of frustration, Afrihost customers also started experiencing problems with Google services such as Gmail and YouTube over the weekend of 27-28 June.
“Our network and management team has escalated the query to MTN who are working on resolving the latency as rapidly as possible,” said Afrihost. “We expect the latency to Google-based services to improve.”
Asked what exactly has gone wrong on the Afrihost network, the company said it has seen a demand increase as clients embrace high-definition video streaming from YouTube and other services.
Services like peer-to-peer file sharing also continue to demand large amounts of traffic.
“At present, the demand for bandwidth is growing much faster than the rate at which new clients are joining our network, which means that it is mainly due to changing consumer habits of existing clients.”
A new network
Afrihost CEO Gian Visser said that awhile ago the Afrihost directors started exploring the idea of “a more unique and responsive network” (see Afrihost – The State of the Network and the Future).
Over the next few weeks, Afrihost will launch two different proof of concepts for this new network.
The two networks will be different, and Visser said Afrihost will work day and night to ensure they get everything right.
“The really great news is that we are going to be asking for your feedback to help us make the decision,” said Visser.
“We are going to be giving as many clients as we can the opportunity to test drive the networks and then give us feedback on their experience.”
Afrihost said the two concept networks would differ from Afrihost’s existing one, as it will have more control over more aspects of the network.
“This will enable us to be more agile and flexible in dealing with issues and also with the creation of new services and products. Both will offer similar benefits and new services to clients, though they may work in a slightly different way,” said Afrihost.
Afrihost said it couldn’t go into more detail, other than to say that it will go ahead with the “proof of concept” that works best.
What about the problems right now?
Afrihost said it was “always working with MTN to improve our current offering”, when asked about the existing network’s performance.
Afrihost is also pushing to have its proof of concept projects online as quickly as possible.
This will let it divert traffic and lessen the network congestion which clients are currently experiencing.