The competition for the internet is heating up as South African internet service providers (“ISPs”) battle it out to become the top dog, but what does this mean for consumers?
Over the recent years South Africa has seen a rapid growth in the ISP space with the introduction of fibre. At the time of writing, such fibre lines allow for download speeds of up to 1000 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 500 Mbps.
Earlier this year, March 2021, Openserve (Telkom’s network division) doubled its current fibre line speeds to all new and existing customers without impacting their customer’s pricing. The only noted exception was for those customers who had 200Mbps line speed prior to this initiative, these customers received a discount on their monthly line rental.
This initiative was performed by Openserve to encourage customer migration from the ‘aging’ copper line infrastructure to the newly implemented fibre lines.
In response to the price changes from Openserve both Frogfoot and Herotel responded quickly and improved their service offering. As expected, the bulk of the other ISPs shortly followed suit.
Two months ago, August 2021, Afrihost received approval from the Competition Commission to purchase a majority stake in Cool Ideas. Cool Ideas is different from other ISPs as they specialise solely in fibre solutions. This strategy has worked as it has cemented Cool Ideas as one of the top fibre service providers in the country. Afrihost already owns a majority stake in Axxes, another one of South Africa’s premier ISP. This merger will result in three of the top ISPs in the country being housed under one roof.
Fibre internet solutions is a hot commodity in a country where almost half the nation does not have access to the internet. This ongoing ISP price competition can only benefit the consumer and allows for greater access to the internet, and digital solutions, as it continually becomes more affordable for most of the South African population.
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