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Type of site
|News and community|
MyBroadband.co.za is an online group (chiefly an Internet forum), which provides South African Internet users with a central vantage point for information on broadband services in the country. Since 2003, the site has become a major source of information on many computing disciplines related to the Internet and its various uses including gaming, VoIP and more.
The site is funded by advertising revenue, the majority of which is received from telecommunications companies.
One of the main objectives of MyBroadBand is to change the current South African broadband landscape, focusing particularly on ADSL, which is dominated by the state-controlled monopoly Telkom. One major achievement is that Telkom is, apparently, beginning to recognise MyBroadBand, and has met with the forum leaders and discussed the problems the broadband community faces. Telkom has yet to yield any significant price decreases or service upgrades, and are still paying lip service to the majority of their ADSL and Telephone customers.
Broadband Ratings Reports
MyADSL often releases Broadband ratings reports, the latest[when?] of which is the Wireless Broadband Ratings Report, these reports take into account speed and reliability tests by users of the services in Question. The Vodacom company controversially uses the report to make their advertising claim "The Best Broadband for Your Rand".
MyADSL / MyBroadband Meetings and Conferences
Contributors to the myADSL forum meet at least once a year. The annual conference is usually held in Johannesburg. These gatherings are sponsored by Vodacom.
Official Representatives on the Forum
Many companies, including Neotel, Vodacom, Afrihost, Web Africa, iBurst and Cell-C, have official representatives on the forum.
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In its later years mybroadband has been criticised for removing forum posts that are critical of its major advertisers who have people in management positions that are friends with moderators on the forum. The most recent of these when iBurst was accused of illegally erecting a base station. Accusations have been made of unethical behaviour when using a company also owned by the owner of mybroadband to report on site statistics for its advertisers. Competitions are regularly held which have been criticised for not adhering to any laws governing promotional lotteries or competitions.
The company has also changed its founding principle of being advertising free. In 2009 it included the incumbent Telkom as an advertiser, which was widely criticed among the membership and ultimately resulted in 2 competing forums being set up. Shortly before and after this several of the founding members left or were banned from the site which was also widely criticised on other forums and on blogs. It is now described as selling out to the telecoms companies and as a commercial news site that no longer has the interests of South African consumers at heart.