Broadband data use is increasing rapidly in South Africa, which is fuelled by, among other things, the growth in video streaming services like Netflix and ShowMax.
According to Telkom’s latest figures, it pushed 472 Petabytes of traffic on its fixed broadband network last year – up 39% from the year before.
This increased use comes at a cost to ISPs. While wholesale bandwidth prices have declined in recent years, they have not kept track with the growth in data use.
The total cost of providing a gigabyte of data sits at around R2 per GB, where the price of wholesale IP Connect bandwidth is the biggest contributor to this cost.
This means that a person who pays R165 for a 2Mbps uncapped account and uses more than 83GB is costing their ISP money.
The table below shows how much money Afrihost loses through its biggest uncapped data users.
|Afrihost Uncapped ADSL Accounts|
|Service||Top User||Account Price||Loss|
|10Mbps Home Uncapped||1,857GB||R367||R3,347|
|8Mbps Home Uncapped||871GB||R327||R1,415|
|4Mbps Home Uncapped||870GB||R237||R1,503|
|2Mbps Home Uncapped||539GB||R167||R911|
|1Mbps Home Uncapped||305GB||R97||R513|
|10Mbps Premium Uncapped||2,268GB||R797||R3,739|
|8Mbps Premium Uncapped||1,639GB||R597||R2,681|
|4Mbps Premium Uncapped||1,265GB||R397||R2,133|
|2Mbps Premium Uncapped||586GB||R297||R875|
|1Mbps Premium Uncapped||349GB||R197||R501|
When an ISP starts to lose money
MyBroadband asked prominent South African ISPs what the amount of data is where their uncapped ADSL accounts become unprofitable.
Here are the averages of the feedback received from the service providers. It should be noted that the actual thresholds will differ per ISP and account type.
|Uncapped ADSL Account||Loss-Making Threshold|