South Africa’s best and worst ISPs during lockdown

The Q2 2020 MyBroadband ISP report revealed that Cool Ideas, Vox, MTN, and Afrihost were the top-rated Internet service providers (ISPs) during South Africa’s COVID-19 lockdown.

The national lockdown started on 27 March, placing tremendous pressure on fixed and mobile networks as most employees began working from home.

Network traffic increased significantly, and support lines were under pressure with many people looking for new services or upgrades to their existing Internet access.

Usage patterns also changed. Afrihost’s IPC usage revealed that South Africans were using far more bandwidth during the day because of the lockdown.

There was a 62% increase in usage in the afternoon and a 27% increase in usage at the peak – around 20:00.

While fibre and DSL service providers like Afrihost coped well with the increased demand, a few wireless broadband providers struggled.

Rain, for example, saw a 50% decline in the average download speed on its network during the lockdown. This, in turn, resulted in a flood of complaints about the network.

Best and worst ISPs during the lockdown

The latest MyBroadband ISP report shed light on which ISPs performed the best during the lockdown.

This report is based on 82,372 customer satisfaction ratings which were collected between 1 April 2020 and 30 June 2020.

These customer satisfaction ratings form part of MyBroadband’s Android, iOS, and web-based speed test platforms.

After a user performs a speed test, they also have the option to rate their ISP based on their overall satisfaction with their provider.

A weighted average of these customer satisfaction ratings is then used to rank South Africa’s ISPs and fixed-LTE network providers.

A few prominent findings from the latest MyBroadband ISP report include:

  • Cool Ideas was the only ISP with an average rating of over 80%.
  • Vox, MTN, Afrihost, Cybersmart, and Axxess received ratings of over 70%.
  • With the exception of MTN, the mobile operators received relatively poor customer satisfaction ratings.
  • Rain and Telkom were the worst performing ISPs during the lockdown.

It should be noted that these ratings only relate to fixed-broadband connections where someone performed a speed test over a Wi-Fi network.

This means the ratings for the mobile networks mostly relate to fixed-LTE and 5G connections where the SIM is used in a router.

The table below ranks ISPs based on their customer satisfaction ratings during the lockdown.

South African ISP Rankings
ISP Customer Satisfaction Rating
Cool Ideas 81%
Vox 79%
MTN 79%
Afrihost 77%
Cybersmart 76%
Axxess 72%
Supersonic 69%
MWEB 68%
RSAWEB 68%
Cell C 66%
Vodacom 65%
Rain 54%
Telkom 51%

Now read: Afrihost IPC graph reveals how the lockdown changed Internet usage in South Africa

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South Africa’s best and worst ISPs during lockdown