South Africa’s first price comparison service for Broadband and Internet connectivity deals launched on 1 August 2011, following on from the launch of a non-profit broadband statistics website run by the team.
BroadbandComparison features deals from all of South Africa’s top twelve Internet service providers with the aim of simplifying the process of finding and purchasing appropriate Internet connection products for South Africans.
The site was co-founded by Chris Cox and Ian Saunders, two young South African entrepreneurs based in London, who drawing from their respective backgrounds in the UK sought to bring the UK’s ease of purchase to the rapidly developing South African market.
“It just makes finding the right broadband package so much easier – it’s clean, easy to use, just very well done. It really has saved me a lot of time, probably money too,” said Marcelle Lorenzo, a recent broadband buyer.
While the process of finding and buying the right broadband product for a geographical area is complex already, this process is expected to exponentially increase in complexity in coming months with the introduction of LLU (Local Loop Unbundling).
The term “LLU” describes the legislated de-regulation of the Telkom exchange network which allows third party access to the last mile of copper wiring to a broadband users house. This process, widely anticipated amongst South Africa’s tech elite, is expected to see a number of new players competing with Telkom on last-mile connections for consumers, and thus introducing a plethora of new options.
Cox and Saunders believe that the South African market is ripe for such an offering, and that as the market matures information overload will become a significant problem for South African consumers.
“What we’ve sought to do here is to create a search engine for Internet deals in South Africa. There’s a desperate need, and many of us are wasting hundreds, even thousands of Rands a year in this area,” said Cox.
Saunders added, “South Africa’s economy is just reaching that tipping point where the Internet is so crucial to its growth and development, and we want to be part of that and help make the country competitive on the international landscape.”
Saunders has been involved in developing the backend web programming interfaces for some of the UK’s major comparison engine brands. Cox runs a number of online affiliate websites, as well as South Africa’s first online cosmetics store, TheBeautyStore.co.za.