How much bandwidth is enough?
At the beginning of last month our ISP, Telkom Internet, increased their bandwidth allowance from 5 Gigabytes to 9 Gigabytes a month.
And this month, for the first time since we started using ASDL broadband five years ago, we reached the end of the month without having to buy extra bandwidth, and with some to spare, which I hope carries over to next month.
That’s good news.
But one of the things I find rather annoying is that a lot of shops in Pretoria sell computers, especially laptops, with an Internet connection contract included. They don’t tell the poor suckers who buy them just how limited they are. They extol all the wonders of the Internet that you can be connected to by buying one of these machines with its package of 300 Megabytes. On my calculations, even using NoScript to block all the bandwidth-hogging videos and Flash graphics and podcasts and the like, that package wouldn’t last 3 days. I picture people showing the family the wonders of the new toy — look at this funny video on YouTube — so they look again, and then because little Johnny was in the loo and he wants to see it they look again, and poof — that’s your 300 Megs gone. What then?
I once bought such a laptop with such a package attached, and paid R1000 above the advertised price to have it without the Internet package. The salesman thought I was crazy, but I told him it would pay for itself within three months of not having to pay an excessive amount for utterly inadequate bandwidth. Because, as I’ve now discovered, unless you want to do e-mail only, no attachments, 300 Megs is ludicrous, and 10 Gigabytes is about the minimum. And if you want all the “media playing” you’ll probably need about 5 times that. Well, TelkomInternet will probably sell it to you, at R 65.00 a Gig (about £5.40 or US$8.80).
But I have a question for those of you (in South Africa) who keep putting videos on your blogs, or asking me to look at videos on Twitter or Facebook or whatever — how do you manage for bandwidth? Or are you rich enough to afford as much as you like?