SA needs broadband nutrition labels
Making sense of broadband packages shouldn't be confusing.
25 April 2022
I recently asked a friend on a gaming group, "How fast is your internet?" "Six," he replied. Six what? He didn't know – six. It took a bit more interrogating to figure out he was referring to the speeds he saw on Steam downloads, translating to a 60Mbps connection. He, of course, had no idea what that meant, and even explaining the difference between megabits (Mbps) and megabytes (MBps) just confused things further.
The point is he still can’t tell me what his fibre line speed is supposed to be. He doesn't know what he's paying for – I guess he's either scoring on a 50Mbps package or getting short-changed on a 100Mbps package. And that's fibre. Once you go into mobile broadband, things become a lot worse. I currently use a connection from a 5G provider that promises speeds of up to 200Mbps, which I'm yet to experience. In general, I can hope for speeds of between 50Mbps and 100Mbps, depending on the network optimisation, the site I'm connecting to, and whether a bird decides to sit on my antenna.
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