Ispa urges Telkom unbundling

2011-08-15 09:30
Ispa joint-chair Jaap Scholten has said Telkom could earn more revenue if the telco splits. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Ispa joint-chair Jaap Scholten has said Telkom could earn more revenue if the telco splits. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - Cape Town - Telkom should completely unbundle its hardware in order to facilitate better access for broadband delivery in SA, the Internet Service Providers' Association (Ispa) has said.

"From Ispa's point of view, something like splitting up Telkom into a wholesale and retail department is a very good idea. Understand that that has already happened to an extent," Dominic Cull, Ispa regulatory advisor told News24.

Some commentators have called for Telkom to be split so the infrastructure could be shared by a number of firms who would provide services.

"The [Electronics Communications] Act says you must separate those things out so what they've done is they've put Chinese walls up between wholesale and retail and now with 8.ta as well, Cull added.

He insisted that Telkom leverages its virtual hardware monopoly and offered companies the ability to offer broadband services to homes in the country.


"What is Telkom's strength at the moment? It has the fibre in the ground; it has more than anyone else. I think there's 500 000km of copper that Telkom has in the ground.

"Telkom should be now taking an approach where it's not resisting local loop unbundling, but is saying 'How do we leverage the assets which we have to make that we remain relevant the future?' And they seem very intent on not doing it."

"It would be a whole new revenue stream on an old asset," said Ispa joint-chair Jaap Scholten.

Local loop unbundling has been applied in developed economies of the UK and US, and section 5 of the World Trade Organisation's General Agreement on Trade in Services mandates "interconnection between fixed network suppliers".

"The Electronics Communications Act is all about open access and really when you see companies like Vodacom and MTN co-operating on laying down fibre, they're starting to get the picture about 'We can share'," Cull said.

Potentially, the sharing of costs by these companies and consortiums would result in a faster rollout of the broadband infrastructure while at the same time, not impacting as much on the bottom line.

ISPs frustrated with the slow pace of broadband expansion have begun laying their own cable even though ISPA said that this was not their core function.


"That's the stage at which an ISP becomes a telco. An ISP is not really in the business of laying down infrastructure, but a lot of ISPs are making that jump from being an ISP to a telco," Cull said.

Companies like Dark Fibre Africa allows users to use its cable and in Durban, the city plans to allows fibre optic cables to go through the sewer system.

The cost of broadband is a major concern despite the fact that SA is increasing capacity exponentially. Users are unable to access the service due to unavailable or expensive "last mile" connections.

"I happen to live in Kommetjie. How do I get that fibre out to Kommetjie - that's the metro reticulation. That's the challenge," Cull said.

"You need those broadband cables for the fibre backbone, otherwise it just costs too much to push it over satellite," said Brett St Clair head of mobile at Google South Africa.

- Follow Duncan on Twitter

Read more on:    ispa  |  telkom  |  internet  |  broadband

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


DA wants to empower fishing communities - Zille

DA leader Helen Zille says the party has a plan for harbours and small-scale fishing communities.


Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now! - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Canon EOS 600D

The Canon EOS 600D Digital Camera puts the widely respected...

From R5389.95

I'm shopping for:


You may find yourself putting in that extra effort on looking good and making an impression. more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.