First published on MyBroadband | 17 February, 2010
Ben Kelly feels that it is high time that Neotel reduces its data rates to compete more effectively against ADSL
I like to joke that I am Neotel’s only happy customer. From a brief glance at the MyBroadband forums it would appear that there are a number of people that do not feel that they receive the kind of service from Neotel that they were promised.
For my part I have nothing to complain about, my link stays up most of the time, I get speeds that I would consider decent and I haven’t needed to install an external antenna.
When I signed up a year ago I did some basic maths and I decided that based on the cost of getting an ADSL line installed and the cost of a 4Mbps ADSL service and a decent amount of bandwidth it would be better value for money to rather go the Neotel route.
Twelve months later and the picture is quite a bit different.
Now at this point I would ask readers to indulge me slightly and understand that I have neither the time nor the inclination to extensively research every ISP and the minutia of their ADSL offerings so I have just used G-Connect as a basis for working out how much it would cost to acquire a specific amount of ADSL bandwidth.
To buy 5GB of ADSL bandwidth would cost about 13c/MB, including the Telkom line rental and a 4Mbps ADSL link. To get a similar service from Neotel would set you back about 8c/MB.
So on that standard it would look like it was better value to get Neotel than ADSL. However, when you get up to the higher usage scenarios then ADSL comes into its own.
The problem that Neotel faces, in my opinion, is that its cost per MB when one moves out of bundle is simply too expensive. When it launched R80/GB was sort of the average for bandwidth no matter what service you used. Today that is not the case.
Considering that I can buy ADSL bandwidth for as little as R14/GB, Neotel is starting to look rather expensive.
It is time for Neotel to start passing on some of the savings it got from the launch of Seacom to us, its loyal customers. I am not asking for R14/GB, as nice as that would be, but maybe R40/GB would be more in line with the market as it stands.
That said the one thing that Neotel needs to get done faster than a price cut is a reliable system for monitoring our usage. Already there are rumblings about Neotel charging users for bandwidth that they haven’t used and the truth is that this matter will not be resolved without giving us some system that allows us to see how much bandwidth we use on a daily basis.
If Telkom has, for years now, been able to send a daily email to its users telling them exactly how much data they have used then I see no reason why Neotel shouldn’t be able to do the same.
If I were into conspiracies then I might speculate that Neotel would prefer to keep us in the dark because we are likely to use more data, above and beyond our allocated 5, 10 or 15GB if we have no idea how much we have left.
And telling me that I can call the contact centre for an answer is no bloody help at all. I don’t have the time to do this every day and keep a log of my usage.
Come on Neotel, get with the program, give us our bandwidth monitor and while you are at it cut the price of out-of-bundle data usage as well.