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  • 10 Oct
    2012

An Important Letter From Gian to YOU

We've re-published this letter from Gian Visser, our CEO, to all our ADSL Clients - for those who did not get to read the email, or would just like a reminder of the important points from his letter.

I've got some breaking news. And it's very important that you know about it. In my 12 years at Afrihost this has probably been the most challenging email I've written.

Why?

Because this is one of the most exciting things we've ever done and I want to make sure I communicate clearly how groundbreaking it is and exactly how it affects you. I believe the ADSL game is about to change again. In 2009 we offered ADSL data for R29 per GB when the going rate was R70. And it changed the game. Our business (and the SA Internet market) hasn't been the same since.

So what's happening?

A new ADSL network has been custom built and created for us and all of our clients. It's been crafted with love and care. Passion and precision. Our uncompromising requirements, specifications and expectations have not only been met but exceeded. Nothing's been held back. I'm confident that this new network will change the ADSL game again in South Africa

Here are the reasons why...

Your connection will be fully redundant. Local traffic is spread across multiple IPC's across the country - so even if there is a catastrophic Telkom outage in one area we can divert all traffic within minutes. The new network also uses multiple undersea cables for unparalleled international speed, stability and reliability.

So what if one of the undersea cables has an outage or gets cut?

Traffic will automatically be diverted across the other cables so you'll still be able to access international sites - you probably won't even know that anything happened!

But that's not all:

  • We now have unparalleled control over every facet of each of our ADSL products.
  • We have created our products to work exactly like we want them to work.
  • We will now be able to control how the system prioritises traffic and we can change it if necessary.
  • We are no longer reliant on our supplier controlling the way your Internet data is delivered to you across the network.

Now we control this.

What does this all mean for you?

Simply that you'll get the absolute best ADSL Internet experience possible.

So when will you start enjoying all this?

Your account will be moved to the new network this Tuesday (16th of October). You can log in to your ClientZone at anytime to see which network you are on and whether your account has been moved. Please note that this currently applies to clients who's usernames end with @afrihost.co.za, and users on @is.afrihost.co.za will be contacted separately next week.

What do you have to do?

Nothing. Your settings will stay exactly the same - your username and password will remain unchanged. We are doing all the work in the background for you.

Will your connection to the Internet be disrupted or broken?

No. Your ADSL should work all the time and the switchover should be seamless.

What if you can't connect on Tuesday?

If you find you are not able to download anything in Tuesday then switch off your router or modem for a few minutes and turn it on again - this will enable your router/modem to log you onto our new network and should fix the problem.

What changes for you?

Nothing (other than your ADSL connection is hopefully even better than usual) You still contact us in exactly the same way if you have any problems in the future

Who built and owns this new network?

MTN. We've worked very closely with them to create this network and I've been amazed by their tireless dedication and passion. They have exceeded our expectations at every turn. We're very excited to partner with MTN - without question one of the best tech companies in South Africa - to bring this groundbreaking, game-changing ADSL network to you. And we're excited to let you loose on it on Tuesday!

Will there be teething problems?

I hope and pray not! Obviously we have done everything we can to ensure it all goes as smoothly as possible. However, as you probably know, computers and anything tech-related can be unpredictable so if there are any unforeseen problems be assured we (and MTN) have our best technicians ready to leap into action if necessary.

What about the websites we host?

We are NOT moving our websites or web servers that we host. Nothing is changing to our hosting infrastructure or any of our hosting products. This new network is specifically created for ADSL users so we will only be moving our ADSL clients on Tuesday. Our web servers will stay with Internet Solutions (IS). They are a great company and we have the utmost respect for them. We are very grateful to them for the excellent service they have given us in the past and will continue to give us going forward.

If you have any questions please post your questions in the comments section and we'll answer them for you ASAP.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

We do not (and never will!) take you and your trust in us for granted.

Thank you

Gian
CEO, Afrihost

 

Here are some of your questions (and Afriman's answers) to help clear the confusion and get the good vibes going:-

Does the MTN-ownership mean that a Telkom landline is no longer a prerequisite for an ADSL line?

MTN only owns the network, not Afrihost (in case that is part of the question. It's still ADSL so you still need a line.

Will this affect my Telkom Line managed by Afrihost - Should I cancel the Telkom line now?

Your ADSL line is unaffected, and this is just like your regular Afrihost adsl account. You still need your router, ADSL Line and Username and Password (as always). Please don't cancel any infrstracture, the ONLY changes are going to be made on our side and everything remains the same on your side (it will just be more awesome).

Will I get faster Upload and Downloads Speeds?

We expect that general connectivity will improve in the sense that we can get optimal performance from your ADSL line. We still are limited to the capabilities of the Telkom infrstructure in your home and local area.

Does this apply to clients with bandwidth only from Afrihost or does Afrihost have to manage the ADSL Line? 

All clients on Afrihost DSL (except those with usernames ending with @is.afrihost.co.za) will be moved over and enjoy the benefits of the new network.

How will high usage users on the uncapped option currently routed to IS be affected? That is where login was changed to @is.afrihost.....

We will contact those users during the course of next week to find out what option they would prefer, and at this stage we will continue to offer the same service on IS, as well as an equivalent service on MTN.

Does this result in any changes to the Terms and Conditions, Acceptable Use Policy or Privacy Policy? 

At this stage, all our policies will remain as is, we are simply moving everythign accross and we'll monitor and assess before we make any changes.

Will all ADSL clients be moved to the MTN infrastructure (i.e. capped and uncapped)? Will all ADSL prices remain the same? Will the current "bundles" offered (and pricing) stay the same? Since the infrastructure will not be under Afrihost's control, will clear rules and guidelines for the uncapped AUP be posted (especially those related to shaping and throttling)?

All pricing, products and services will remain the same, including AUP limits - for now! But rest assured they will only change for the better. We'd like to offer more bandwidth and more value for money on all products. We are definitely now in control of every aspect, and can set the rules now more than ever.

Will access to IS's News Server be affected and will MTN be putting up it's own News Server?

At this stage we expect that access to IS news server will be affected, and mostly unavailable. We are exploring a news server with MTN, and we'll publish this information as soon as we have a goal in sight. We'll also explore other alternatives should we not be able to setup our own news servers in a reasonable time.

Will joining MTN allow Afrihost to offer 3G internet packages?

We certainly hope so. We will continue to offer our existing AlwaysOn packages, but the possibilities are open for the future to offer all kinds of Broadband access products.

Will there be any changes to the outgoing SMTP server for email or will smtp.afrihost.co.za and smtp.isdsl.co.za still work?

Our main SMTP (smtp.afrihost.co.za) will remain active, however we will not be able to use ISDL fallback SMTP's as we are no longer on their network. We will be able to provide new alternative mail servers via the MTN network.

As a high traffic ADSL user I have been moved to Internet Solutions network for better throttling. Will there be similar options?

We revamped our Uncapped accounts to allow much more bandwidth access than IS uncapped accounts, though we are not in a posititon to offer 2 concurrent accounts yet. By the time we move those users over to MTN (if they choose to do so) we will be able to offer equivalent (if not better) uncapped products for them to move to.

Will we now get the long awaiting Fixed IP's on the business packages?

We are planning to deploy this very soon, and the network has definitely brought us closer to this. This will be available on business packages only, but we will make the announcment soon (once our existing products are stabilised and performing as expected)

How does this affect your shaping policies?

At present all policies will remain as is, until such time as we feel the network is stable and we can identify unused capacity or resources to add more value to our products. Whether those will come in the form of price drops or additional access to bandwidth will be released closer to the time.

I'm worried about reports suggesting MTN has some dodgy dealings going in Africa and the Middle East. Maybe those are untrue, but how long before they try to buy you out?

Those reports are based on allegations which have yet to be proven and the cases are ongoing. In any case, MTN are a service provider and do not reflect on Afrihost's business dealings in any way. We are not considering any buy-out offers at this time (and not for any time in the future) so clients can rest assured that we will continue to secure their interests no matter who we procure services from.

Where in the ClientZone can I see which network my account is currently on?

This will be in MyProducts>MyProductivity, but will only become active once we start moving the accounts over on the 16th.

89 Cool Comments Leave a comment
Johan Grobler said

Will this make a difference in upload and downloads speeds, and will we, in future, harness the MTN network for roaming with Afrihost?

Neil Hymers said

Great news

Shawn said

Can I cancel my Telkom ADSL line?

Marg said

Does this result in any changes to the Terms and Conditions, Acceptable Use Policy or Privacy Policy? Or does it mean that any facet of those three items operate in a different manner from before?

Emile said

How are speeds affected? With Telkom upgrading their base services to 2Mbps across the board there should be notable improvement from the paltry 360+- we used to have. It’s still not anywhere near international standards though, so my question is - does the new network change anything regarding the speed of our lines? It currently costs R700 to rent a 10Mbps line from Telkom, which is rediculous!

Gavin said

Will we continue to enjoy (up to) 10Mbps on our current packages?

Hein said

Great work Gian, thanks.

Does this mean that I can shift my line solely to Afrihost or will the ridiculous hidden costs from Telkom (eg. Identicall, itemised billing and homephone line rental which I don’t need or want for an dedicated ADSL line) finally become a thing of the past?

Also, will I be able to connect via a non-telkom port? Because the current exchange is 5km from my house, quite unstable and maxed out at 1MB when I was paying for a 4MB line all year.

Keep up the great work!

Herman said

Hi there.

I’m just wondering if the IS News server will still be accessible or would this “new” network have it’s own News Server as well?

Roberto said

Does this mean we will not have to rent the telkom line in conjuction with the afrihost service

Leon said

Hi Gian. Same question as most others ... do you still deal with Telkom?

Brian Manthé said

great stuff!!!
Gian and ALL those at Afrihost - I have been with you since 2009 and am intending to stay.
Why change when you are with the best?!

Santosh Maharaj said

This is great news. Keep up the good work. What I am really waiting for, is when I can tell Telkom to take their line and &^^%$ it. That will be the ultimate for me. I am paying those extortionists for services that I do not use or need. However, with the likes of Afrihost, there is hope. Thanks guys.

Jono said

Hi. How will this affect news server access, and speeds and reliability?

DataSaint said

Will this change mean that Afrihost will be able to provide customers with static IP’s on their ADSL lines?

Shawn Botha said

Hi Gain

Good to hear about the news. My question as a GAMER would be: Will the latencies be affected. We have used MTN in our area, compared to other providers, and their latency wasn’t that good (the cell tower was across the street). Will it stay the same or get a little “upgrade” ?

Giles Harris said

It’s funny to read these comments and see that I’m not alone in hoping, primarily, that I have finally been freed from any association with the evil Hell Kom machine!!! Please,Please,Please,Please,Please,Please. Tell me it’s true!

KAREN said

All the best with the switch over.
Here’s to smooth sailing.

Denzil said

Would the outgoing email settings have to change becuase I have been using smtp.isdsl.net for all my users computers. If nothing changes then its great cos’ then the change doesnt interupt me or my clients.

Theo said

Hi Gian
Thanks again for being willing to get out there and do amazing things.
I only hope you mean it when you say that you are partnering with MTN and not being swallowed up by them. It has been the story of my life over the years that I find an awesome service provider who gets swallowed up by a bigger company with a big and impersonal call center and service quality goes out the window….
Being optimistic that this is not the case… Congratulations on the achievement!
Warm regards,
Theo

Tony said

Great informative letter to your clients -  keep on remembering us. Thanks

Heinrich said

It’s still ADSL so we still need Telkom, but seeing that MTN is involved and they own the network on which this operates, don’t they have a solution for us who cannot get ADSL because Telkom doesn’t serve our area?

Calvin said

Awesome, now just help us get rid of Hellkom sometime in the future. You guys rock!

John Theron said

Gian I think I am going to add a t to the end of your name - well done to you and your team.

Daniel said

Can you clarify your policy now for throttling uncapped users please?
Will the policy be changing and movin to a shaping based system?

Noel Lang said

Dear Gian,

This sounds absolutely, truly, amazing ! ‘if I understand it correctly.

I looked up “redundant"regarding the Telkom the line connection, in Encarta Dictionary and it says:-

1.  dismissed from work: dismissed from employment because the job or the worker has been deemed no longer necessary
The companies merged and half the workers were made redundant.

2.  superfluous: not needed or no longer needed
3.  electrical engineering backup: fitted as a backup component or system
4.  linguistics repeating meaning: with the same meaning as a word used elsewhere in a passage and without a rhetorical purpose

The question is:- What do I do with my Telkom account, do I cancel it?
Telkom have been promising an upgrade on the line speed for months but have not done so yet, will this make redundant their upgrade?  I have a 1Mb uncapped account with Afrihost.
Afrihost are too good.
Regards.

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