Cool Ideas, which was founded by Paul Butschi and Andre Jooste in 2011, is one of the fastest-growing fibre ISPs in South Africa.
The company was rated as the top ISP in South Africa in MyBroadband’s speed test and user ratings results, and regularly features as the top ISP in the Netflix Speed Index.
Cool Ideas is getting it right when it comes to customer happiness, and MyBroadband provided its readers with an opportunity to ask Butschi questions about Cool Ideas, and the ISP and fibre market in South Africa.
Here are the best questions and answers from the “Ask Paul Butschi Anything” discussion.
You can read all Butschi’s (PBCool) answers in the MyBroadband Forum.
Rpm – What is Cool Ideas doing well which has resulted in you topping the ISP rankings this year?
We built our own network from the start and focused on delivering a product well, this allows us to resolve issues and focus on support to deliver a better experience.
OCP – Your staff are all friendly, professional, informed, and genuine. How did you manage to foster such an amazing team and how do you keep them motivated?
Over a period of time, and with a bit of luck, coming from a similar service industry we had some experience in the field. Keeping people motivated is a major challenge in every business. I think, placement, building relationships, and lots of team-based events. Do your best to listen to your employees.
wizardofid – What is the weirdest or most difficult support question that needed to be answered and solved?
Mostly these are arb hardware incompatibilities, we had an issue whereby only a particular type of router chipset would work on a fibre ONT. We’re still not sure as to why and neither do the hardware manufacturers.
“Which wireless router will give me full coverage and full speed everywhere I go” – Still unsolved.
ThinkCentre – Vumatel announced that the download speed will be the same as the connection speed of the user. How does this have an effect on the ISPs compared to that of ADSL?
This is where the popular term contention was born. In the past the Telkom network was the only network, so between DSLAMs etc you might find areas still using ATM to link the network together, so your line was contended with other subscribers in your area due to the backhaul links being limited.
This is no longer an issue on fibre-only networks as the capacity is basically limitless, so each last-mile service can be delivered to the ISP as un-contended. The effect is lots of bandwidth for the ISP to deliver.
How much of an impact did your experience and skills picked up with Jawug/WUG user groups have on your ability to run what many people consider to be the best ISP in the country?
Jawug was a way to start playing with a metro network without any qualifications, so it was a massive motivator and teacher for me.
So, I would say Jawug was crucial to the starting of this business and funnily enough also one of the major reasons for Jawugs demise, is FTTH.
It’s also how one of the other directors joined us, via the Jawug family and history which has also been a huge push for us going forward.
Ho3n3r – How did the name ‘Cool Ideas’ come about? It’s not a name that says anything about what your product is, so I’m curious to know the origin.
Well we needed to register a business quickly, so we got a list of shelve companies, and between Andre and myself we liked Cool Ideas, but with the intention of changing it. It eventually stuck so we kept it.