Rob's Rambling

Mweb is everything that’s wrong

Posted by Rob March 18, 2010, under South Africa | 12 Comments

With internet in SA.


Not 15 minutes ago I posted a blog about Mweb's Uncapped offering.


As I've been sitting and thinking about it - and reading comments all over the intertubes, I've been filled with a peculiar form of Nerdrage (which is what happens whenever I think about internet in SA).


Mweb really is everything that's wrong with the internet in this country. And here's why.


The concept of uncapped in South Africa seems to have been missed by almost all ISPs. Either an uncapped service has a "threshold" or it is subject to such severe limitations on traffic and usage that it's near impossible to use for what you want. 


And it's all about the attitudes of the companies involved. For them users are people to be penned, stuck in a particular niche. Either you just use the internet for email (and therefore have no need of uncapped unless you're the most popular person in the world) or you're an abuser. 


I imagine some people are looking confused right now. Yes you, if you went to YouTube today or (heaven forbid) went and downloaded some software then you're an abuser in South Africa. This is not what the internet should be about damnit!


People like Mweb need to catch on and come to the party properly or not at all. If I buy bandwidth from you then it's my bloody bandwidth to do with as I feel. Telling me that I can have uncapped but am not allowed to use Peer-to-peer, ftp, YouTube or other streaming sites and download software is like the manufacturer of my car telling me I can only ever drive it in first gear. Yes, stupid isn't it?


You wouldn't let Shell tell you where you're allowed to drive your car with the petrol you bought from them would you?


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Currently have 12 Comments

  1. Peter Pan says:

    Wow, true, so true.
    BUT, I spoke to Mweb and they said no P2P is being block, although i'm only getting like 10-20kbs/s download speeds..
    Does this mean they are lying to me?

    • Sorry for the delay in responding - my emails just aren't coming through anymore. Time to figure out why :)

      I think that Mweb is certianly not blocking p2p - they're shaping it. That would produce the effects you're seeing.

  2. HatingMwebRightNow says:

    All P2P is now blocked on my 4MB Uncapped from MWEB from last night. Before it worked perfectly sometimes hitting 400kbps but now nothing. (connection closed by peer) NO South African Uncapped is Uncapped. AND is Extreamly slow. IF you are paying about R 3000 pm then you might have real uncapped. But anything under 1500 is a joke.

    • @HatingMwebRightNow I would say that if your p2p is actually blocked (i.e. not going at all), you should contact Mweb themselves and ask - I'm sure that's not right. I can understand the service being shaped but not outright blocked. The average speed seems to be somewhere along the lines of ~80k for p2p traffic on a 4mb line and for stuff like Rapidshare 100-300k average. If yours is performing worse than that there ma be something else wrong.

      As far as uncapped goes - Axxess uncapped express is apparently still a very popular product.

  3. I've been a MWeb customer for all of 1 month, this is also the first time I have my own adsl account and so far, I have only compliments.
    I'm using their uncapped 4mb service and I've had no problems with P2P, depending on what you dl, I've been getting speeds of about 350kb/s, not bad in my opinion.
    As for them being everything that is wrong with the internet in SA, I don't agree with that, I think MWeb is part of the solution, not the problem, and they are working very hard towards getting internet access cheaper for everyone. (Unless I missed something along the way of my research into which ISP I was going to use).

    • Thanks for the comment Carl :)

      I'm starting to shift my perceptions of Mweb actually - there's a blog post coming up tomorrow about it (I have no problem eating my words if it's justified).

      I still think there are some parts of the ISP that are wrong but they've really stepped up for a lot of things recently.

  4. My mweb connection (4096mbit/s) was running happily with forced encryption on utorrent now all of a sudden it has died - all trackers ( legit ones) are closed by peer(is peer mweb ?) and I can only get downloads from the peer exchange , wether shaped or unshaped , there should be at least a connection to a tracker or trackers ? There is a limit and it can be called false advertising if they say (completely uncapped) but hey the internet is like a taxi rank in SA

    • I have to admit that so far Mweb has been about the best provider of Uncapped in SA - mainly I think because they planned for it rather than had it thrust upon them like IS and so on.

      Another point Andy is that it is still technically Uncapped even if you can't use torrents. They do say it'll be shaped but if there's an actual problem talk to them.

  5. MWEB has been forced to release uncapped internet...  the rest of the first world countries have had this for a few years already...  at ridiculously cheap packages.  The only reason you sympathize is because you feel that MWEB did you a favor by allowing uncapped...  I don't think so buddy!  They still charge a rental fee for telephone line a month and you don't get discounts for local calls.  Please do me a favor and google the rest of the world's local call tariff packages even...  The truth will set you free.

    If someone promotes uncapped.  I have the right to download what ever I feel like downloading, I am paying for the advertised service which says....  UNCAPPED.

    CARL is a rep for MWEB by the way.

    • To be fair - Mweb has no choice in the charging of a phone line rental, that's Telkom. The only way they could not make you pay that is if they took the knock themselves.

      It's more that the prevailing attitude of forcing you to only browse and email can be an issue. So far Mweb seem to be doing quite well on that front.

  6. Up to today I have been using an MWEB 512 Unshaped account @ R699/month excluding line rental (We never had the option to upgrade in our area and 512 shaped cant be called internet!)  I have jumped between many service providers eventually coming down from R1600/month. 
    I have to wait 4 days for TELKOM to do the upgrade on my ADSL line for a 4Meg account but my MWEB shaped 4Meg will now set me back only R560 a month (line rental from TELKOM R413/month, so saving about R100 bucks for a faster connection).
    My top DL speed was only ever about 48Kb/s on 512 Unshaped. What is the slowest speed to be experienced on the 4Meg shaped? And an average speed?  I cant wait for Friday to find out. Finally I will be able to use the DSTV on demand service MWEB gives you to stream the latest movies, series and sport from DSTV to your Mac/PC. 
    P.S. I agree on all the comments made regarding internet in SA being so expensive. Not to mention the insane rates they charge for 3G. All this talking of taking internet to people in rural areas via cell phones. How will they ever afford to actually use it. 
    But. Finally we are reaching a phase where consumers are becoming more aware of the fact that we are being taken for a ride. We pay the highest prices for the most mediocre products. For now I can recommend MBEW to anyone. Their support surpasses that of any other ISP i have been with. And not to mention the 300 minutes free wireless hotspot time to use when you are away from your ADSL.

  7. i blame ICASA , they are a bunch of idiots just not doing whats best for the consumers...probably have a cut of the pie somewhere!

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