Directway Via Coppernet / Iwayafrica / Poor service!
My brother bought this Directway set up in 2004 from Coppernet Zambia which has Iwayafrica in Kenya as its hub. It cost over US$6000 and monthly charges were US$213 per month for the lowest Home user service, and capped at 1(yes 1) MB. Going over that you are charged US200 per MB. I visited from Zimbabwe to test it, as in Zimbabwe only dial up was available with a download speed of 2-3kb/s. The download speed on Directway was 22kb/s which I thought was marvelous. I make my living using a webcam and in 10 days made 3 times what I made in 2 months on dialup. So my mother and I rented out our house,packed up everything in Zimbabwe and moved ourselves and our dog, cat, 3 terrapins and 2 tortoises, which was extremely expensive, to Zambia in February 2006.
On Arrival, I found the download speed was down to 10-12 kb/s and shortly afterwards was beginning to have trouble with my video streaming. I contacted Coppernet and complained about the reduced speed and the webcam. They said that we had to upgrade to a higher package, costing US$338 per month for 1.5MB and this would give me the upload speed for the webcam. I checked out their packages on the internet, and the speeds were exactly the same!! I refused to upgrade and soon my webcam would not work at all. I did all sorts of tests, bought Windows XP at a cost of US$538 because I though it must be the new flash technology that required an active X that Windows 2000 did not have. This still did not work so I kept on complaining, did more tests, reformatted my hard drive because I was told by Coppernet that it must be my computer. I spent days and weeks buggering around doing what Coppernet said, waiting for replies that never came, and then was informed that I was a difficult customer and must upgrade. I tested my webcam on an upgrade with a higher upload speed and still nothing. I contacted the sites I used my webcam on, they tried re programming on their side and still no luck. Then one suggested I do some port tests. I did and every time port 80, 443 and 1935 failed. These ports are necessary for the flash technology. I contacted Coppernet and told them. I got no help, so in desperation I contacted Iwayafrica, the hub. They kept telling me that these ports were all open. They had checked. I did other port tests, sometimes they worked, but never port 80. I sent Iwayafrica and Coppernet the results many a time. I tried contacting different people in the organization hoping someone would help. Nothing happened. I then started losing my connection very often. I had to contact Iwayafrica eachtime to reset my account, sometimes they replied, sometimes not. I would then have to reload all my webpages, start again, and the connection would go. This is very tedious as the average speed had declined further to 4 - 7 kb/s I asked them to fix the problem once and for all. Nothing happened. I decided to go to the top with my problems. The CEO of Iwayafrica apologized and said he would get people working on the problem. Nothing happened, made contact again and was told they were still working on it. Then the CEO Salim Suleman stopped replying to my e mails. I tried e mailing the Manager of Coppernet, no reply. I contacted other people at Iwayafrica and got no reply.
It is now September 2007, for 20 months I have been trying to get my webcam working and the disconnecting problem fixed. Every single day, for 20 months I have battled with my internet. Yesterday I finally got hold of someone from Coppernet on MSN and explained nobody was replying to me and she said, "well why didn't you contact me" I had!! and she had said Iwayafrica was seeing to my problems! She wanted to talk to me because I had over used. I explained that I had had downloader Zlob and 2 other viruses. She informed me that they had restricted my account, (my download speed was now 108bytes to 1kb/s I must upgrade or they would not unrestricted my site. This was despite telling her of the virus!! I said how can you expect me to upgrade a service that does not work and I get no support. After much talk she said that I had been told why my webcam did not work. I denied this and said you tell me. Iwayafrica had blocked my ports because of the "content" streamed on my webcam! When I asked "what content" she refused to answer, told me to pay my bill and said she was going out to lunch!!
So these ### have ripped us off on the price of the equipment, price of the monthly service, the amount of bandwidth, lied to me, blocked the ports without informing me and deprived me of thousands of dollars of income, killed my once thriving business and ruined me financially.
I was trying to contact Hughesnet USA to see if I could connect directly through them but I found this site and will most certainly look no further after what I have read here.