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SEACOM bandwidth first hand

Last year, the SEACOM undersea fiber optic cable landed in South Africa. This cable was many times faster than the existing SAT3 cable that most of South Africa relies on to get internet access. Along with everything else, it was expected that SEACOM would bring competition and innovative packages to market as ISP’s got connected to the cable.

Two weeks ago this became a reality for my school. Our ISP only caters for schools, and they had managed to obtain a slice of bandwidth for new packages they would be offering schools. We were offered an uncapped 2Mbit ADSL line for less than what we were paying for our uncapped 1Mbit line. Contention ratio would be fixed at 2:1, which was guaranteed unlike our previous solution with Internet Solutions.

A new router was installed on site, our firewall quickly reconfigured and we were away. A few DNS records had to be changed on their side, but once that was done everything was back to normal.

Speed is fantastic on the line. One could say that of any 2Mbit line I guess, but with contention ratios fixed, we are getting steady solid bandwidth. YouTube videos can often now be viewed without a lot of buffering for example. Downloads go so much quicker than ever before.

General browsing speed has also increased nicely, though sometimes it isn’t as noticeable.

It has reached the point that using this crummy 384k ADSL line at home is almost physically painful at times. As ADSL competition continues in South Africa, I can hope that the 384k lines will eventually get upgraded for free. I can’t live with this slow speed anymore after having SEACOM based goodness for 2 weeks now at work.

Although SEACOM hasn’t yet totally opened the market up, it is having many good effects already. Once the rest of the fiber cables land in SA, we may just start living the internet good life.

  1. April 4, 2010 at 23:16

    Enjoyed your post, thanks.

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