Axxess/Afrihost Throttling Connections by 90%???

** Please also see the updated Afrihost ISP Review Here **

<rant>The ISP market in South Africa is understandably a cut-throat business with each ISP trying to outdo the other whilst at the the same time attempting to squeeze as many consumers as possible onto their network.

MWeb rocked the boat a few years ago by introducing the first affordable uncapped ADSL products. ISP after ISP followed suite. I myself have an uncapped account with Axxess (now owned by Afrihost). Why not with MWeb you ask? Well there are certain things in their terms and conditions that certainly do not suit me (I mean really, I am forbidden to FTP something to my home computer???). Anyway, back to the point. I have never had many issues with Axxess/Afrihost – that is until they spontaneously decided to move all their customers from the age-old-proven IS network to some newly “custom-built” network by MTN. Now I understand that such things may incur some teething problems, which they had and have said to be sorted out. Besides the issues I have with my physical ADSL line (which is neither owned nor the responsibility of Axxess/Afrihost) I had a few days of glorious speeds in which I could finally download myself a new game or two on Steam …. or so I thought. Three days and 5.5GB later, I notice that my Steam downloads seem to be a bit slow…but maybe that is just a line issue again I thought.

Days went by and I noticed that browsing was as quick as ever, but Steam downloads were sitting at 15KB/s … I have 1Mbps line which should give me speeds in excess of 100KB/s. Another peculiar fact was that whenever I started the download, the speeds would jump around a bit near 80KB/s and then after a while drop to 15KB/s. At first it seemed a little random, however it would do this consistently whenever I stopped and restarted the download or whenever Steam would give up and suspend the download for a while (due to slow speeds) and resume it. I then decided to do a little experiment. Start the download and time it until the speed drops to a consistent 15KB/s. Imagine the surprise when I discovered time and time again that after almost exactly 1 minute and 30 seconds the speed would drop. It never took longer than that but sometimes did so after a mere minute. The final test was to quickly do the same tests on a prepaid capped (guaranteed unshaped/unthrottled) account. Result? Pure bandwidth joy…return to uncapped…throttled hell.

Now why not complain? Well because I know the response I am going to get: “We reserve the right as according to our Acceptable Use Policy to prioritise/throttle our uncapped users based on network congestion bla bla bla…..” …  please explain this to me: When Axxess/Afrihost were making use of IS backbone, then I could easily transfer 100GB in a month with barely an issue. Now after a mere 30GB  they are throttling like hell on a new network that they boast far outstrips the old one in terms of capacity. If this were true then I would not be receiving only 11% of my theoretical speed on a weekend when business traffic is at an all time low! Come on Axxess/Afrihost … (un)shape up or ship out. I think I shall simply execute my right to move to another ISP … I hear IS has some nice consumer offerings these days….<rant/>

12 Comments

  1. :) im trying out the business uncapped now and will see how it goes. I used to be on the business uncapped webafrica where i could do over 700 gigs a month no issues so will have to see if i can keep this up with afrihost. I hope they dont throttle me cause i play allot of Online stuff so will have to see.

    I take it you where on the normal uncapped account and not the business uncapped. So i hope i dont experience your speeds.

    Reply
    • What account speed have you signed up for? I have been eyeing out the business solutions now – very tempting. However they do reserve the right to do whatever-they-want when it is not business hours. So yes, let me know how it goes.

      Reply
  2. It is now confirmed. The response from Axxess after reporting the problem to them: “Your uncapped service is currently being managed due to a high usage on the account….”
    I would appreciate shares on the article, hopefully some publicity about this daylight robbery will help.

    Reply
  3. I concur with your rant. I’m quite fed up with this, I’m getting throttled even though my steam updates and the occasional torrent probably only add up to about 20GB each month.

    Needz moar interblags! What’s this country coming to?

    Reply
    • It is time consumers stop simply accepting and start fighting for their rights. Please re-share & like/+1 the social links. Thanks

      Reply
  4. I resigned from afrihost because of throttling. My line is now back to telkom.
    Mweb does not throttle the same way Afrihost is. And i also had problems in november/december. Now Telkom is upgrading my area with Fiber, I have huge disruption and my line speed jumps all over the show.

    Reply
    • MWeb’s original uncapped offering is guaranteed to be unthrottled. They will only shape protocols. I would even consider paying their slightly more expensive prices – except – their terms and conditions explicitly forbid all forms of servers on their consumer products. I have an FTP server that I use from time-to-time as well as a small Minecraft server that I have running for me and a few friends.

      Reply
  5. I thought I would offer an update to everyone. I suspected after talking to a few friends and colleagues that Afrihost and Axxess manage the shared backbone network completely independently from each other. I decided I shall take a 1 month risk and do a switchover to an identical Afrihost product. Interestingly the speeds have been much better than the speeds provided with Axxess. No throttling late at night/early morning. Sometimes even have full speed midday in the week. It seems as they know more about managing the network than what Axxess does – or – they are providing Axxess with less bandwidth/per customer than what they have to themselves.

    Reply
  6. Axxess Africa have me throttled\managed at 34 gigs usage on a public holiday on the 24th of the month on a 4096 “uncapped” winners!!!!!! Open Web here we come!!!

    Reply
  7. Well to be honest im with Axxess currently on the cheap 10mbps account syncing at 6mbps. Not much of a downloader any more since I switched to Netflix almost a year ago so in my opinion if you complain about slow speeds during the day it must either be p2p or a huge http/ftp download. I can understand the frustration from some people, but realtime services on axxess/afrihost has always been fast even if a download was ideling at 30KB/s. Can say this type of line is a blessing at my work with all the people trying to torrent and bypass the firewall.

    Reply

Leave a Comment.