What is the Star Rating system and why does it exist?
The Web Africa star rating system forms part of our Home Uncapped Acceptable Usage Policy which is a set of rules that is put in place to protect users who aren’t abusing their uncapped accounts from those who are.
It’s there to make sure abusers of our service do not receive the same quality uncapped service as those who stick to the rules. It’s clear, simple and fair. If you stick to it, you’ll get the most out of your Uncapped ADSL.
Our Home Uncapped ADSL makes use of the percentage based system in the form of star ratings, which provides a better experience to all Home Uncapped users.
The system takes usage and network capacity into account and is updated dynamically. The star rating is from 1 to 5, with 5 stars being the best. We display your current star rating in your Internet Usage Tracker (formally the DSL Console), so you know where you stand at all times.
Please note: We use a 10 day rolling-window usage approach to determine star ratings.
2. What can I expect as a user at different star ratings?
Home Uncapped makes use of Silver quality bandwidth, Business Uncapped makes use of Titanium quality bandwidth and Business Uncapped Pro makes use of Gold quality bandwidth. Read more about our bandwidth priorities here.
Based on the users’ average usage, we prioritise the users’ bandwidth at different star levels within the bandwidth profile. If a user is at 5 stars, they will receive the best quality bandwidth the respective profile has to offer. If a user has a 1 Star rating, they will receive a degraded service.
To give an indication of how the service operates at the different star levels, please see the following table:
|Voice over IP||Good||High||High||Very High||Top|
|Video & Audio streaming||Medium||Medium||Good||High||Very High|
|Secure web (HTTPS)||Medium||Medium||Good||High||Very High|
|Security (VPN)||Medium||Medium||Good||High||Very High|
|File Transfer||Best effort||Medium||Medium||Medium||Good|
|Peer-to-peer||Best effort||Best effort||Best effort||Best effort||Best effort|
- 5 Star: Great usage on all services, torrents and news server downloads may be slightly slower dependent on network load.
- 4 Star: Voice services (Skype) and gaming will be great, along with general browsing. Downloads will be slightly slower.
- 3 Star: Voice services (Skype) and gaming will be good. Your YouTube videos will take slightly longer to load, general browsing and mail will still be quick.
- 2 Star: General browsing, mail and online video will perform slightly slower. Voice and gaming services will be good, downloads will take some time.
- 1 Star: General browsing, mail and online video will perform slightly slower. Voice and gaming services will be functional, downloads will take some time.
NOTE: It is important to note that deprioritisation will generally take effect when the network is under load, so a low star rating will not always mean you will see degraded performance if there is spare network capacity available. Network load will naturally be higher during office hours, so you may expect slower performance for non-crucial services and protocols during that time period on a lower star rating.
3. How long will I be at a specific star rating for?
We monitor all Home Uncapped users’ average usage every hour and establish usage patterns. If a user falls within the top percentile, we deprioritise there service accordingly. This therefore is completely dynamic and based off the usage patterns on the base, though a user can fall in and out of a certain star rating every hour, depending on their average usage patterns.
4. Where can I monitor my usage and current star rating?
We have made it exceptionally simple to monitor your usage of your ADSL account via our Internet Usage Tracker.
- Login to your Customer Zone, go to your ADSL service.
- Click on Management Actions and login to your Internet Usage Tracker
On the Internet Usage Tracker you will be shown your current star rating along with usage totals done during the current month. You also have the ability to view and export historical usage patterns and export hourly breakdowns to Excel in CSV format.
5. Are there any exclusions?
While we do monitor usage done during Download Plus hours (between 00:00 and 06:00), it does not count towards your Star rating.
We would highly suggest scheduling large downloads to be done during these hours as to avoid the usage counting to your star rating and affecting your Uncapped performance.