Contention is the number of users sharing the network with you. ADSL is a shared network product, where many users access the same pool of bandwidth. This happens on your line where you contend for other users in the area for bandwidth and access at your nearest Telkom exchange, and then on your ISP's connection, where you share the bandwidth with other users of the network.
Contention is an indicator of how many users share the bandwidth. It is truly dynamic, as not all users are using the network at the same time, so there is no set contention ratio on any Crystal Web accounts, however we endeavour to maintain this ratio as low as possible within the economic confines of having to purchase local, IPC, and international transit capacity.
Will contention affect you?
Yes, all consumer and nearly all business accounts are subject to network contention, which is an ordinary network management process around the worl. If network were uncontended, everyone would have access to and pay for dedicated bandwidth, i.e many thousand Rand per Mbps. i.e. a 10Mbps connection could cost you in the region of R25,000 per month. These sorts of connections are reserved mostly for large corporate who require dedicated bandwidth. By contending a network, we are able to keep the costs down to the end user (you), and done smartly and efficiently, we can do so without impacting on your connection in any discernable way. However contention is a network reality, and occasional reduced throughput can be attributed to higher contentions due to higher network demands. We occasionally see this happen when large gaming releases or software updates take place, and automated downloaders fire off simultaneously across the subscriber base.