This is big news. In a recent post, I mentioned that I was living in a “bandwidth-disadvantaged” country. That seems like it may soon be changing, with MWeb’s annoucement today of several uncapped fixed-line ADSL packages targeted at home and business users (full disclosure: I work for a company that is part of the Naspers group. I have no direct dealings with MWeb).
This is huge news for South Africa, because even as our Internet access has gotten progressively faster, data caps (an ISP-imposed limit on how much you can download per month, usually between 1 – 5 GB) have continued to limit the viability of online enterprises; to most South African Internet users, it was like driving ox-wagons on the information superhighway.
Of course, MWeb’s new packages aren’t perfect. They currently only offer shaped connections to home users and they’re still reliant on getting a Telkom line installed, which can be a challenge at the best of times. Still, kudos to them for taking the first step and literally opening the information floodgates; it’s now only a matter of time before other South African ISP’s follow suit.
Maybe it’s just because I’m an online-type, but today (Thu 18 Mar) really does feel like a historic day; on behalf of myself and all readers of this blog I’m officially declaring it National Freedom of Information Day.