I recently got word from my “kids” that the 200GB monthly quota on my Vodafone ADSL account was already used up, with 10 days left for the month to end. This, in spite of the many blackouts; and though I’ve myself have not been at home for most of January (I’m actually writing this from Meaglent Hotel).
The image above shows the bandwidth usage in January 2015 for the Vodafone Ghana ADSL service installed at my apartment in Accra, Ghana: 200GB consumed in just 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 come to their business senses and 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.
And I yearn for the day when real fast and reliable broadband connectivity – irrespective of the delivery technology, but certainly not the sort of "broadband" brewed by marketing departments -- will be ubiquitous and affordable to every Ghanaian everywhere in Ghana.
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 too long; as that would make my achy breaky heart sick.