Naked ADSL critical to SA web - MWEB

2012-08-20 10:00
MWEB CEO Derek Hershaw has said that naked ADSL is critical for the mass adoption of cable broadband in South Africa. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

MWEB CEO Derek Hershaw has said that naked ADSL is critical for the mass adoption of cable broadband in South Africa. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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VIDEO: Internet state in SA

2012-08-14 13:02

MWEB CEO Derek Hershaw chats about the state of the cable broadband internet industry in SA in this YouTube video.WATCH

Cape Town - Naked ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) is critical for the mass adoption of cable broadband in South Africa, an ISP has said.

"We've always campaigned that naked ADSL is a prerequisite for really driving adoption of fixed line services like ADSL and getting costs down. Most of the cost savings in the last two years have come from ISPs reducing costing around the data portion of it," Derek Hershaw, CEO of MWEB ISP told News24.

State enterprise Telkom has a virtual monopoly on infrastructure and users are required to pay for a landline telephone along with broadband access.

For ISPs, the additional consumer cost hurts their business model.

"Why are we still forcing consumers to pay for a fixed line voice service? That's simply a tax on top of your broadband connection fee," said Hershaw.


There is demand for broadband internet services in SA and MWEB has an active gaming community of around 50 000 users and most of its customers have opted for uncapped offerings.

"Our uncapped base is now bigger than our capped ADSL base - just over 60% of our customers are now uncapped.

"On a month by month basis, in terms of new customers that join MWEB, almost 90% come in on an uncapped product. That was our strategy from Day 1; that's where we focus our attention," said Hershaw.

MWEB introduced uncapped internet service to SA in 2010 and Hershaw said that there observable changes in user patterns.

"We've seen that mindset in the South African consumer change now. Uncapped is accepted as the way the internet should be provided and the way that people want to consume it," said Hershaw.

More MWEB customers are consuming rich media like video online and engaging in torrent downloads that were cost prohibitive under the old model.

"What we leant very quickly is that the South African consumer is no different to a consumer in any other part of the world. Once you take the shackles off, they behave in exactly the same way," Hershaw said.

According to MWEB, consumers in SA have become more demanding as far as internet connectivity was concerned but cost was still a barrier to entry. It is estimated that there are about 800 000 ADSL subscribers in the country.
"The access side still remains a barrier to wide scale adoption," Hershaw added.

News24 is part of, a subsidiary of Media24, which is in the Naspers stable. MWEB is a subsidiary of Naspers.

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