$200/month - the cost of broadband in SA

I paid my Telkom bill this morning and had to reflect on the charges that I am paying to the fixed-line monopoly. The “line rental” is R693 [sic] per month, which is for a 4mbps ADSL line with no service. According to recent reports, average broadband use in the world is just over 11GB per month, so let me add the price of R719 for unshaped 10GB/month of usage from my ISP as well as R70 for an ad hoc additional 1GB. That comes to R1481 per month, i.e. $200 (US, to the nearest cent) at today's exchange rate. Foreign readers will think that I am inventing this, but this is the actual price of being connected in South Africa. The sunshine and mild weather, for which we can thank no Earthly authority, are still free.

Update on 2009-10-24: an Afrikaans version of this post has appeared on my Sake24 blog.

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