Steve Whitford
Steve Whitford

Don’t get duped by the internet hype

I’m on an internet ranting mission. I’m amazed at the lack of understanding in the market about how internet access is charged for and how people are getting ripped.

Had a conversation with someone the other day who said MWeb uncapped was competitive with Telkom because it was R219 vs R199 for Telkom’s 1GB on the Do Broadband 1 package. However the price he is quoting does not include line rental.

So the equivalent price is R349 for uncapped vs R199. For more on that story read this post: Swindled by Uncapped .

The problem is that the internet is marketed that way and just as people take the time to understand the difference between mobile phones they are looking to buy, cars, insurance quotes etc, similarly they need to understand the basics of how internet access is charged for.

Another two scenarios sprung up this week. One of a company who was having a website hosted for several hundred rand a month when they could have been paying a fraction of that. And all that was needed was a comparison with any number of host companies for a comparative price.

Then I came across another company charging consumers to rent routers (which are locked to the user and have a static IP address) with expensive rate on bandwidth.

A company like Telkom gives the router to users free on contract packages apart from their entry level package and the user has complete control of the router allowing them to do things like connect wirelessly with a laptop, hook up a console, surf from their mobile phones (if they have wireless).

But in scenario quoted, consumers using the service don’t own their router, can’t access the router, unnecessarily pay for static IP addresses and only get 3GB of bandwidth a month?! They can’t do anything of the above and they’re paying more than R1 000 for the service? It’s ridiculous.

Consumers need to take the time to come to grips with what the internet is and what it costs, otherwise they risk being taken for a ride.

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  • Nick Trendov

    A brief reminder of the history of the internet may help provide your readers context.

    The internet was originally funded and controlled by DARPA a part of the US militry machine and intended to tap resources of computers worldwide to fight enemy threats by combining the processing power of the few computers available at that time.

    Once the ‘net’ was created the nodes or people at each of the computers newly connected exchanged files and email. Email popularity led to spamming and eventually the creating of spam filters and arrests of large spammers. Now corporations spam by email and people spam in blogs.

    Though leaders and directories once bridged stories and surfaced value but today the volume of stories and spam overwhelm them. You can’t be careful without tools, processes and practice. Curating news stories may be one way to help people avoid scammers.

    Nick Trendov