iBurst: Almost wowed me…

After putting enough pressure on iBurst, the company decided to provide me with a free installation of a directional antenna. Installation team arrived last week Friday and install went smooth (bar the fact that for whatever unexplainable reason, they chose the longest route for the cabling – I assume its related to charging for extra cabling).

Although I had an omnidirectional antenna before and used to get 600-750kbps, I do now notice a huge improvement on direct iBurst-speed (speedtests come close to 1Mbps). However (and there always is one) – just because I now have perfect line-speed, this does not solve the lack of international speed. Service is not consistent – some international downloads come in at about 500-700kbps, while others still average at about 350kbps. Other customers at the MyAdsl-forum say, that 350-500kbps is as much as you can expect.

Truly amazing (if only iBurst would cache downloads / websites) is the after picture:

2008-09-26 (Omnidirectional):
iBurst speedtest: Download 464kpbs / Upload 138kpbs
Speedtest – Johannesburg: Download 509kpbs / Upload 253kpbs
Speedtest – Capetown: Download 362kpbs / Upload 123kpbs
Speedtest – NY: Download 272kpbs / Upload 92kpbs

2008-10-03 (with the directional antenna)
iBurst speedtest: Download 979kpbs / Upload 204kpbs
Speedtest – Johannesburg: Download 991kpbs / Upload 286kpbs / ping 170ms

Speedtest – Capetown: Download 350kpbs / Upload 138kpbs / ping 870ms
Speedtest – NY: Download 251kpbs / Upload 75kpbs / ping 999ms

Personally I don’t notice much of a difference as it appears that international backhaul capacity (or oversubscription on the towers) is the issue.

Not sure where to go from here (other than to wait for ADSL installation on 13th October). For customers experiencing similar issues, I learnt:

  • iBurst helpdesk take for ever to assist
  • They will initially brush you off with excuses such as MTU or other things
  • They will initially show no responsibility or customer service and even want you to pay for a site-visit
  • The sad part is, that if you shout loud enough (such as in my case), they will conduct the site-visit for free, reimburse you for lost bandwidth and even pay for the installation of a directional antenna.
  • If that level of service would be available to all customers without having to escalate to the CEO, that would be grand service. Unfortunately such treatment is only offered to “difficult” customers such as myself. I pity people who don’t have the perseverance to follow through – truly amazing is that people pay quite a bit of money and then fail to push companies for better service. Unfortunately it is not just about complaining, a customer and a company should find an acceptable agreement.
  • I must say – iBurst well done, you have tried very hard to assist in resolving my problems, try and apply the same level of service to your complete customer base and your company will really excel.