What sort of connectivity do I need?
The current scenario with fibre
With the current speed of fibre rollouts, ADSL is fast following the path of dial-up connections and the dinosaur. We are literally spoilt for choice with speeds ranging from 1mb/s up to 1gb/s in some areas. If the national regulator can have its way, base-speed connections may even end up being almost free (for home users). With prices dropping on a monthly basis, it may seem to be the best bet to get the fastest you can currently afford. While this is great for gamers and movie buffs, most of us do not need the high-speed connectivity. At the same time, economising by getting the cheapest you can is also not the answer. While we do not provide connectivity at Host Africa, we can help you decide what you need.
How do I work out the right connection speed and/or cap for my usage?
This all depends on what you use your internet for. Most small businesses can quite happily run on a 4mb/s connection. The moment you start adding people to your office, things change. Put an additional two or three staff members online. Now you may find 4mb/s a bit slow. Suddenly, 4mb/s seems to crawl and you now need at least a 10mb/s connection. Your cap may also not be anywhere near enough. Business users should aim to buy uncapped packages. Getting throttled or cut off at or near the busiest time of the month is not good for business.
Cloud Services and hosting
Join the modern way of working and add a few Cloud-based servers from Host Africa and you may need to ramp up that connection to a 20/20 fibre link to make your experience a good one. Depending on what you have running in the cloud and the number of users, a 10/5 fibre link may also do it for you. Either way, good connectivity is the key to getting the most out of your cloud services.
I would recommend any provider who has a good helpdesk and fast response to queries and/or issues. Ask around on forums and do a few searches. The cheapest options are not always the best, but not always the worst either. Ask around and find out what sort of experience other people have had from provider X. Social media and sites such as www.hellopeter.com are a good place to spot potential trouble spots and providers to avoid. Look for those that do not respond. All providers have a few people who have had a bad experience and complained on HelloPeter, but the better providers always respond and try to do something about an issue.
I don’t have fibre yet!
Find a fibre provider’s website and request fibre in your area. Fibre projects are only started once a certain number of houses have indicated interest. The quicker you can show interest and get your neighbours and neighbouring businesses to ask for fibre, the more willing fibre providers will be to join you up. Fibre rollouts are expensive and require much planning and co-operation across many services (Roadworks, Electricity, Sewerage, Water, Governing bodies, Property owners, etc) and no provider will provide fibre for a single business unless they are willing to pay a ridiculous installation fee. Get a group of people or businesses in the same area and the picture becomes a lot more positive.