Bandwidth Dreams

I recently got word from my “kids” that the 200GB monthly quota on my Vodafone ADSL account was already finished, with 9 days left for the month to end. This, in spite of the many blackouts and though I’ve personally not been at home for most of January (I’m actually writing this from Meaglent Hotel).

My Vodafone Ghana ADSL Bandwidth Usage January 2015

My Vodafone Ghana ADSL Bandwidth Usage January 2015: 200GB consumed in 20 days

No, there’s no reporting error here, as you can see from the usage graph above. The data was indeed consumed — by these “kids” of mine who hang around my apartment (whether I’m in or not). As the Akan adage goes, “when you have corn, you’re never without fowls!”

And no, I don’t believe the answer lies in erecting speed ramps and roadblocks. I consider Internet a basic necessity, right up there with shelter. While I don’t open my house to just anyone, the few that I do let in don’t get half a bed, and they certainly don’t get told how often they can use the loo .

I long for the day when ADSL caps will go away completely, and the day that the local WISPs who don’t have such data caps will find a way to do away with their show-stopping initial installation charges.

I also yearn for the day when the cellular folks, including the recently launched WiMax and LTE operators (especially the latter, who are currently making so much noise about nothing), will awake from their dreams and begin to charge realistic rates. For all the noise I hear about Surfline’s 4G service, no one is talking about their rather prohibitive bandwidth rates. With Surfline, the 200GB that I consume monthly would cost me GHS1,780 — yes that’s ONE THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED EIGHTY NEW GHANA CEDIS. With Vodafone ADSL I pay GHS200.

Oh Elvis, how exciting those days — your days — will be!

But today I can only dream my bandwidth dreams, and hope that I wouldn’t have to hope for long; as that would make my achy breaky heart sick.