Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Aventure Power Catamaran

We were recently awarded the contract to take over the hosting of the Aventure site from a US based web hosting company.

At the risk of sounding arrogant, this is quite an achievement. Aventure is based in Monaco. Their clients are mostly high nett worth individuals who demand the best. Aventure could have gone to any hosting service in the world. They chose us.

Makes you wonder...

Could it be our blazingly fast international links?
Maybe our top notch customer service?
Or maybe it's because we're not as expensive as people think?

Why not have a look at our hosting options and decide for yourself?

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Car Share South Africa

Cape Connect Internet is pleased to announce that we are hosting the Car Share South Africa website.

More information here.

Our high speed interconnects to local internet exchanges enable us to deliver consistant web hosting services. No matter how high the load.

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Cape Connect Launches ADSL Service

We are thrilled to announce that we have been appointed as a service provider for MTN Network Services.

Unlike certain ISPs, we do not charge for traffic or bandwidth. Our billing model is based on international speed. All our international connections are via fibre optic cable, ensuring your internet experience is that much faster.

ADSL is a relatively low-cost, 'always-on' connection for last mile access that is aimed at small and medium branch offices seeking a permanent connection to the broader organisational network. The connecting site must be within a 4km radius of an ADSL-supported Telkom exchange.

Our products provide uncapped internet access, as well as six static IP addresses.

Our ADSL solutions are supplied with a pre-configured Cisco router.

More information here.

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Cape Connect Newsletter August 2008

Greetings from a rather wet Cape Town.

August 2008 has kept us on our toes. First off, we were let down badly by the company we'd partnered with for internet bandwidth. Not only were they not giving us what we were being billed for, but once we'd proven to them that their service was not up to par (in fact our throughput was around 50% of what we were being billed for), we were told "your problem is you use the line to send data through". Our continued attempts at getting the matter resolved saw our service being suspended and all out websites offline for a week.

We've since entered into a partnership with MTN Network Services - giving us fibre optic access to London, New York, Mumbai, Hong Kong, Tokyo and San Francisco. To give you an idea of the speed improvement: We used to be around 800ms from the Google data centres in Washington state. Those same servers are now a mere 200 - 250ms away.

The new link not only makes our clients' web browsing experience that much more enjoyable, it also means our hosted sites and services are quicker. You should notice a vast improvement in the speed with which the classifieds download.

Our classifieds subscribers may have noticed that the majority of the sponsored adverts on Cape Connect Classifieds are being provided by Offerforge and their partners. We joined OfferForge South Africa, the first dedicated South African Affiliate Network! Join today and start earning for yourself!

Some of the Offerforge featured advertisers include:

OUTsurance - We use them and have reduced the monthly insurance premium on just one of our cars by R500 a month since switching.

Ava FX is dedicated to providing the FX trader with an online FX platform with no compromise on integrity and fairness. Their state-of-the-art FX trading platform, AvaTrader, is easy enough to be used by novice traders and yet it provides even the most sophisticated trader with all the necessary tools.

Ava FX offer all their traders personal service, ensuring that their trading experience is efficient and hassle free.

* Fixed spreads
* FREE advanced trading tools
* Dozens of currency pairs and Metals
* Daily Exclusive Institutional analysis
* 24-Hour trading and support
* Trade immediately by Credit Card,
* PayPal, WebMoney or Money Gram
* Start trading with as little as $100
* 200:1 leverage*
* No commissions or fees**
* Euro or US Dollar account

E-Bookings-SA is an innovative, new concept, online booking website for the South African accommodation and tourism industry.

E-Bookings SA offers a comprehensive and user friendly portal, enabling South African hotels, guest houses, b & b's, health spas, tourism companies etc. to receive real time bookings, or via an email enquiry system. Their easy on the eye website is user friendly and allows you to view and compare accommodation establishments in any Province or district. Users can check availability and book immediately or communicate via email with the establishment, via the ebookings website, before confirming a reservation.

In these tough times, you may want to consider a personal loan from African Bank.

They offer a range of products through formal channels such as branches, traveling consultants and electronic media and they do not require any surety. Instead they assess the affordability and exposure of the client in order to determine installment repayment ability.

The credit they offer can be applied to

* improve your home
* pay for studies
* pay school fees
* pay for funerals
* buy retail items
* personal use
* etc.

Cape-Connect is committed to providing you with the best possible service via our networks and websites. We welcome your input - please let us know if you have any brilliant ideas to help us improve our offerings.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Why cable will always be King...

I've started investigating the feasibility of rolling out cable connections to clients following this:

The US telecoms giant AT&T has claimed that, without investment, the internet's current network architecture will reach the limits of its capacity by 2010.

Speaking at a Westminster eForum on web 2.0 this week in London, Jim Cicconi, vice president of legislative affairs for AT&T, warned the current systems that constitute the internet will not be able to cope with the increasing amounts of video and user-generated content being uploaded.

He said: "The surge in online content is at the centre of the most dramatic changes affecting the internet today. In three years' time, 20 typical households will generate more traffic than the entire internet today."

Cicconi, who was speaking at the event as part of a wider series of meetings with UK government officials, said at least $55bn worth of investment was needed in new infrastructure in the next three years in the US alone, with the figure rising to $130bn to improve the network worldwide. He said: "We are going to be butting up against the physical capacity of the internet by 2010."

He claimed the "unprecedented new wave of broadband traffic" would increase fiftyfold by 2015 and that AT&T was investing $19bn to maintain its network and upgrade its backbone network.

Cicconi added that more demand for high-definition (HD) video will put increasing strain on the internet infrastructure. "Eight hours of video is loaded onto YouTube every minute. Everything will become HD very soon and HD is seven to 10 times more bandwidth-hungry than typical video today. Video will be 80 per cent of all traffic by 2010, up from 30 per cent today," he said.

The AT&T executive pointed out that the internet only exists thanks to the infrastructure provided by a group of mostly private companies. He said: "There is nothing magic or ethereal about the internet - it is no more ethereal than the highway system. It is not created by an act of God but upgraded and maintained by private investors."

Although Cicconi's speech did not explicitly refer to the term "net neutrality", some audience members tackled him on the issue in a question-and-answer session, asking whether the subtext of his speech was really around prioritising some kinds of traffic. Cicconi responded by saying he believed government intervention in the internet was fundamentally wrong.

He said: "I think people agree why the internet is successful. My personal view is that government has widely chosen to... keep a light touch and let innovators develop it. The reason I resist using the term 'net neutrality' is that I don't think government intervention is the right way to do this kind of thing. I don't think government can anticipate these kinds of technical problems. Right now I think net neutrality is a solution in search of a problem."

Net neutrality refers to an ongoing campaign calling for governments to legislate to prevent ISPs from charging content providers for prioritisation of their traffic. The debate is more heated in the US than in the UK because there is less competition between ISPs in the US.

Content creators argue net neutrality should be legislated for in order to protect consumers and keep all internet traffic equal. Network operators and service providers argue that the internet is already unequal and certain types of traffic - VoIP, for example - require prioritisation by default.

The US Department of Justice said in a statement last year: "However well-intentioned, regulatory restraints can inefficiently skew investment, delay innovation and diminish consumer welfare, and there is reason to believe that the kinds of broad marketplace restrictions proposed in the name of 'neutrality' would do just that with respect to the internet."

The BBC has come under fire from service providers, such as Tiscali, which claim that its iPlayer online-TV service is becoming a major drain on network bandwidth. In a recent posting on his BBC blog, Ashley Highfield, the corporation's director of future media and technology, defended the iPlayer: "I would not suggest that ISPs start to try and charge content providers. They are already charging their customers for broadband to receive any content they want."

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Monday, April 14, 2008

New Helderberg Base Station Part 1

This morning we met with a representative from the organisation that owns the portion of Helderberg that we had earmarked for a base station and signed a lease!

Everything within a 50m radius of this spot is ours for the next ten years!

The spot obviously needs to be cleared, but we have perfect line of sight of False Bay. We also have line of sight to Durbanville, the City Bowl and Stellenbosch. OK, so Stellenbosh is behind the water tanks, but it'll be visible from the top of a 30m mast..).

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Friday, April 11, 2008

Classifieds continue to grow

We had 21,842 impressions on our Cape Connect Classifieds site on 10 April 2007.

Of those, 3326 were requests to subscribe to the RSS feeds.

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Monday, April 7, 2008


It's been a bit of a learning curve, but I now have multiple RSS feeds on the main site and a consolidated RSS feed on the classifieds site.

The main site has six feeds that can be chosen from.

Top Stories
Business Report
Tech News
Motoring Stories
Travel Tales
Sports Report

Subscribing is a doddle: Click on the RSS button to the right in the address bar in Firefox 2.0 or higher, or click on the RSS button in the menu bar in IE7 or higher and pick the feed you'd like to subscribe to.

The classifieds site has 16 RSS feeds. The main feed will send you all adverts as they are placed on the site. I understand that you may not want to know about the swinging scene in Blauwberg but would be more interested in finding a new Hilux or jetski. You can access specific feeds by either using the browser integrated RSS buttons as described above or by accessing the new RSS page that I've created and selecting a specific feed. You can do this by clicking on RSS in the footer of each page.

One last thing. The advertisers who put their money where their mouths are and list their products and services in the banner spaces keep things free for the people who buy and sell goods and services.

A click a day keeps the classifieds free...

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Tuesday, April 1, 2008


Imagine what we could so with WiMax if it had legal recognition in SA...

WiMax could be used as a 'last mile' substitute tech for DSL broadband by 47 million people within five years, says a new report by analyst Juniper Research.

The report, entitled The Last Mile: Opportunities for WiMAX, 2008-2013, says the global opportunity for WiMax 802.16e to deliver local loop broadband connectivity is significant. It predicts the tech will begin to take off between 2009 and 2011, and says the market will be worth more than $20bn annually by 2013.

Report author Howard Wilcox said in a statement: "WiMax can deliver broadband not only to unwired areas but can also improve speeds for subscribers who are on the fringe of DSL coverage in metropolitan areas."

He added: "We anticipate that mobile usage will develop after initial demand for fixed and portable services - WiMax 802.16e is a flexible platform that can operate in all three modes of usage."

Juniper predicts the top regions for WiMax in the local loop will be the Far East, North America, Western Europe and Africa/Middle East. It anticipates WiMax will garner around 12 per cent of the forecast DSL subscriber base for 2013.

However the analyst said the success of WiMax is dependent on two factors: the availability of suitable devices and timely network construction.

The many well-publicised trials of WiMax must be translated into commercial networks offering reliable and attractively packed services, it added.

Even Zimbabwe has WiMax, so why won't ICASA legalise it?

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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Looking For A New Repeater Site Part 2

Once we'd made our way past the farmyard we got to see the more serious equipment.

The track suddenly took a turn for the worse and I was glad that I was driving an all conquering Land Rover.

It's pretty obvious that the Smart Car Brigade stop at the farmyard and that it's only the hardcore techies that venture up the track.
In 4x4 terms, that track would be considered "Grade 4". I wouldn't tackle it in the rainy season without recovery gear.

Moving on. The lower mast looks like it was built by / for the local Hams.

The entire installation has a professional air about it that I hadn't seen at the lower levels. The attention to detail has also rubbed off on the WISP equipment located on this tower.

Slightly further up the track I discovered this nightmare.

A cellular company seems to have had a mast up on the mountain at some point in the past. The damage to the "scaffolding" leads me to believe that the mast was mostly destroyed during a fire. The owners probably removed what they could and left the rest there to rust away. Needless so say some enterprising wireless operator came along and decided it would do as a site for a base station. Note the plastic toy box hosting equipment. Now where have I seen a toy box like that housing equipment? Oh yes, outside the Pick n Pay in Gordon's Bay. It's not there anymore. I wonder whether they moved the repeater site or whether the "tik monsters" stole the kit and sold it for a high?

The last mast on this part of the mountain is a huge new structure that somebody is investing a large amount of money in.

I like it, but I'm not sure that I want to locate our equipment on it, so I've decided to enter into negotiations with the owners of the land for permission to clear an area to build our own eco friendly repeater.

Watch this space.

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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Looking For A New Repeater Site Part 1

Those of you who keep an eye on our status page may have noticed the intermittent red dots next to Helderberg...

Being a relatively small WISP one sometimes needs to make use of other organisations infrastructure to provide clients with service.

I've not been overly thrilled with goings on up on Helderberg of late and felt it was time to pay the site a visit.

What I saw on arriving up there left me speechless.

It seems that every cowboy in the Western Cape who can bolt an aerial to a pole has been popping repeaters up on Helderberg.

Driving up the road leading to the repeaters I was gobsmacked to see that some enterprising individual was actually building a new mast in what appears to be the middle of a forest.

This budding wireless entrepeneur has been toiling away and now has what looks like a 15m mast planted on the side of the mountain. Unfortunately it seems that he's forgotten some of the basics of physics - specifically Freznel zones. I'm so glad I paid attention at 'varsity ;-)

But wait it gets better!

Towers aren't cheap. The last quote I was given for supported masts up to 15m was R1,000 a meter. There has been a 30% increase in the price of steel since then. Electricity's gone up by close on 20% and the price of zinc has also increased. Maybe that's why our budding wireless entrepeneur decided to skimp on the stay wire shackles. Instead of using galvanised round bar secured to a concrete block, he used some rusty chains.

The question now is how long before this tower falls over?

Moving further up the track we saw the military and municipal repeater sites.

This is an extremely important site. Apart from the local Police stations all using it as a radio repeater, the SA Navy also makes use of it, as - no doubt - do Denel.

Even though the masts are behind barbed wire they are not immune to the local cowboys. From talking to the farmer who owns the land on the other side of the fence, it seems people are driving up, parking their cars in his farmyard, jumping the fence and doing what they want on the two government masts.

The begs the question: When last did somebody from their signals section physically visit their repeater site?

The farmer I mentioned previously hasn't been sitting around idly. He's been renting the roof of his workshop to the guys who aren't too keen on getting their clothes torn climbing through the barb wire fence.

How this lot can actually work is beyond me. One sectoral antenna's path is blocked by the ground, the goverment comms shack and the neighbouring forest. But who knows, maybe it's just there to interfere with the oppositions repeaters. Either way it's a mess and I don't want our equipment to be anywhere near that lot.

Farmer Man needs to be careful. His next child may just be born without fingers or toes...

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Welcome to Cape Connect

We are a communications solutions provider offering high speed wireless broadband internet connections in Cape Town and surrounds. Our network is strategically located to also provide effective VPN and VOIP services. We at Cape Connect aim to provide local, cost effective connections to the Cape Town community.

We have a high speed microwave network covering Cape Town, Durbanville, Brackenfell, Kraaifontein, Athlone, Newlands, Pinelands, Ottery, Rondebosch, Constantia, Tokai, Marina da Gama, Muizenberg, Eersterivier, Firgrove, Somerset West, Strand, Gordon's Bay and Stellenbosch.

We have a team of experienced, dedicated staff that not only has many years of experience in wireless technology, but is also experienced in the intricacies of fibre optic LANs and WANs.

Our team of support engineers are always available to handle any query you may have while our security team are able to advise on and implement security strategies for single computers, a local network of computers or a multinational network.

Please contact us for more information.

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