I guess I would have to say that my own home experience with data communications and computer networking started with the humble landline service currently still provided by Telkom. Despite Telkom’s ability to ruin what was a good thing, this service has mostly been excellent.
My first foray into computer tased communications from home was with Telkom’s Beltel service. Not half bad given that it was provide over the landline using a 300 baud connection provided by and acoustic coupled modem. The only problem I can recall is when I used the service to pay my Pietermaritzburg electricity bill and the municipality had no idea what was going on. To be fair, the local main branch of First National Bank (cannot remember what it was called way back in the late 80\’s) was not that clued up either.
Next was Telkom’s ADSL service together with email and the email address I am still using to this day. My early experiences of this service was excellent. It rarely went down. Then a relative persuaded me to switch. I was reluctant and when I gave in, it was to only switch the ISP service and so Telkom’s continued to provide the landline and ADSL service while MWeb became our Internet Service Provider (ISP).
I can’t say that MWeb were that great and the most stark memory of that switch was that Telkom dropped my email service despite several requests that it be maintained as a separate service. It subsequently was and hence the retained, ‘telkomsa’ email address. What was not retained were all my previous saved correspondence.
So we then switched to Afrihost as our ISP and that experience has been slightly better. I guess it would actually be perceived to be heaps better because Telkom’s ADSL service was now deteriorating rapidly. So was the sidewalk of the road that we live in as everyone and his dog was now digging up the sidewalk to lay fibre and it seemed like there was finally light at the end of the tunnel.
Unfortunately we live in a complex were fixing the light fittings at the complex gate can be a long and somewhat tedious process which made getting fibre up to the homes in the complex in the near future seem like a very long shot. Our Telkom ADSL line also went done for several days. So I gave in again and reluctantly agreed to sever ties wit Telkom completely by switching to Afrihost as our ISP. As that meant both our ADSL and ISP services would be with Afrihost, we decided to be brave and also went wireless, Long Term Evolution - Advanced (LTEA) to be exact.
So far we have been connected wirelessly for X months it has not been half bad. The service has failed several times, but never for days. Would I recommend LTEA to a friend? Probably. Would I recommend Afrihost to a fried? Not so sure and here is why 1) After we had signed up I logged into my account and set it up to automatically top-up our data should we run out. You can see my account details and the top-up details in the photographs included below. Well on 30 May 2018 we ran out of data. Did the top-up work. Absolutely not. Now I need to find out whether there was something that I got wrong that caused this situation. If not, I believe I am owed an explanation. I know this sort of thing works as it has been working for me with Skype for years. Now for 2) When it became obvious to us that the top-up had not kicked in, I thought I would contact Afrihost directly. Unfortunately it was around 8 PM and so that was not possible. Afrihost does have a 24/7 helpline and you invoke it by sending them an email as per the instructions shown in the other included photograph.
So are we in it for the long haul? Well I guess this experience has convinced me that I should not dump my Telkom landline any time soon as I may just be needing it in order to hook up with them again via that trusty copper running down the road.
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