ISPA slams Telkom as 'roadblock'

2011-08-04 13:20

Cape Town - The Internet Service Providers' Association (ISPA) has slammed Telkom as a "roadblock" for hampering the expansion of cable broadband in SA.

"Telkom is a betwixt and between beast. It has significant state ownership, but it has significant private shareholders and the two drives there are different," Dominic Cull, ISPA regulatory advisor told News24.

While Telkom has private shareholding, they are seen as a state entity in SA and ISPA contends that the split between national goals and revenue drives a split in the telco.

This is particularly relevant in that Telkom has the largest communication infrastructure to deliver "last mile" internet connectively to users.

"They don't know what they are; they're completely split in that regard and that is fundamentally a problem because it is holding the country back," said Cull.


He said that the department of communications should force Telkom to take the measures necessary so that more South Africans would have access to cable broadband.

"We would most certainly like to encourage the department of communications and government to clarify that.

"Government controls the board of directors at Telkom so effectively they control the direction Telkom takes and the things it could be doing if it wanted to be an enabler of economic growth in South Africa as opposed to a roadblock or retardant."

Other ISPs have also expressed concern that Telkom is not acting speedily enough to ensure universal access to broadband in SA.

"Telkom does need to make improvements and come to the party," Carolyn Holgate, general manager of MWEB Connect told News24 recently.

"So certainly we believe there's a great deal of scope for Telkom to enable socio economic benefits to ensure that communications are enjoyed at a lower price by more people in South Africa," said Cull.

He cited the World Bank report that showed that roughly for every 10% of broadband penetration, a country increased its GDP (Gross Domestic Product) by 1.38%.


The report particularly highlighted the increase in low- and middle-income countries and that broadband penetration added more value to GDP than other telecommunications services.

Australia is currently building a fibre broadband network to cover the whole country and South Korea is in the process of rolling out a public access Wi-Fi network in Seoul.

"That seems like very simple maths to me. Why aren't we chasing that? And if we are going to chase that then Telkom needs to be a primary vehicle for doing it," Cull said.

"We most certainly like to see a strategic plan on the part of Telkom which is more nationally focussed, which is more about the socio economic benefits that can come to South Africa."

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  • Daveza - 2011-08-04 13:35

    ISPA slams Telkom as 'roadblock' - always were, always want to be. In the 90's as I recall they wanted to sue ISP's claiming Telkom had the sole right to provide internet access. 12 years later nothing much has changed.

      Phlegm - 2011-08-04 15:21

      Exactly, and now instead of focusing on providing decent fixed line service they are now blowing all of their money on their mobile 8ta to see how successful that is, entering the market 17 years after Vodacom and MTN, and with a crap brand name(not 8ta, Telkom). In a way I would love to see them fail but sadly this would result in our tax money providing another bail out for an incompetent and badly run government organisation.

      Fired-up - 2011-08-04 15:54

      I have an idea, lets nationalise the mines!

      Koring - 2011-08-04 16:05

      correction. Telkom isn't a roadblock. Its a BMW with 4 flats and no spare on a potholed dirt road in the middle of the Karroo The CEO is stuck inside without his slice of cake.

  • cj.venter - 2011-08-04 13:44

    woohoo, finally someone is demanding something worthwhile in our country!

      GetitRight - 2011-08-04 14:11

      NATIONALISE....Well TELKOM is a quasi STATE OWNED ENTITY. Anybody tried reporting a DSL or INTERNET outage to TELKOM??? I think the cause of my HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE can be easily determined!

  • BraBob - 2011-08-04 13:45

    And lose all the "Excluding line rental" deals? No chance

  • Bok Fan - 2011-08-04 13:50

    Naturally all anc govt agencies would be loath to do the right thing.

  • Darren - 2011-08-04 13:58

    This has been a problem for so long but the service providers only pick it up now. I have also cancelled an uncapped account with MWEB because of Telkom's incompetence. Its really pathetic. I am looking to get ADSL at home again but the fact that I know I am going to have to spend hours on the phone with Telkom is putting me off completely.

  • Showen - 2011-08-04 13:59

    Unfortunately, as long as the government is making a pretty pennie from Telkom the way it is, it will never change. Sad but true.

  • Geetsy - 2011-08-04 14:06

    384 kbs entry level. What joke! What a disgrace! Oh sorry, this is the third world.

  • Badballie - 2011-08-04 14:06

    Telkom is quiet happy to be in control, no-one in this country has internet but through Telkom.

  • NV - 2011-08-04 14:28

    Biggest roadblock ever. Keeping the internet from those who need it the most.

  • dejagermarc - 2011-08-04 15:25

    It is quite funny how behind we are. In the countries that I have been to so far, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Kenya are all busy with their fibre optic network layout. Shouldn't the competition commission do something about this as Telkom does have a dominant stand in this country?

  • Marthinus - 2011-08-04 15:38

    I am one of the few who has to wait for telkom to upgrade their hardware so I can get adsl. Please help us in dudfield lichtenburg. The applications of atleast 8 people is in.

  • oldpilot - 2011-08-04 15:49

    10 pounds sterling per month in UK for really fast broadband, uncapped. Free wi-fi hotspots in McDonalds restaurants! S.Korea download speed 20x faster than the best from Telkom! People can download whole feature length movies in minutes. We are still in the dark ages and unlikely to see the Renaissance with Telskum around!

  • Mkenso - 2011-08-04 16:43

    Still don't understand why ppl complaining abt Telkom. If u don't lyk them stay away or join them dat's wat I did.

      christopher.s.powell - 2011-08-04 19:35

      Mkenso, I agree that if you don't like what Telkom has to offer go and find your internet connectivity somewhere else. The problem is where? Yes, you can go to the mobile operators but they are slow, unreliable and expensive. If Telkom were forced to give up the 'last mile' connectivity which is what was promised 4 years ago there would be a lot more competition, but until that happens we will be stuck in the dark ages.

  • Charl - 2011-08-04 17:04

    What happened to the local loop unbundling initiative – this was approved in 2006 but in 2011 ICASA is still investigating the best of four options on the table!

  • Benzo - 2011-08-04 17:36

    Telkom, ICASA and dept of Communication are all eating from the "same pot of gold" finding jointly the excuses for blocking progress. Makes you wonder why the 2nd operator is not moving faster? But do they not come from a similar background (Transnet, Eskom??) protecting the pot of gold they share now. Feels like Vodacom and MTN with their famous London meeting to share the SA cake with some pricing arrangements before they even started.

  • will294 - 2011-08-04 18:08

    Unfortunately we are all run by an incompetent government put in place by a largely illiterate and cerebrally challenged voting population. This government is a roadblock to many things. Unfortunately we all have to suffer the consequences of their idiocy

  • brown_bread - 2011-08-04 18:29

    I cant believe in 2011, in SA (a supposedly 'better off' country) we have to suffer so much for internet?!!!! But yeah what do we expect, the government officials use one finger to type an email, so for them its super fast, no need to change. So expecting some of these people to even understand the importance of having fast, wide range internet is asking waaaaaaay too much.

  • Cybermatix - 2011-08-04 18:44

    Better Internet access makes a population more clued-up. They then protest and topple incompetent dictatorships or one party states. The ANC knows this. So forget better internet access while the ANC is in control of Telkom.

  • tonydewijn - 2011-08-04 19:09

    Telkom's prices for internet services are many, many times higher than any other country in the world and their products and service are pathetic. They are restricting growth in South Africa. Many countries in darkest Africa and in the jungles of South America have better, faster and cheaper internet than we do.

      k1dbl4ck - 2011-09-23 03:20

      the average speed in Ghana is 11Mbps.

  • Patsi - 2011-08-04 22:11

    Try Wizard Wireless Broadband @ 072 777 1631 (Eastern Cape) Wonderful, cheap and fast.

  • ian - 2011-08-06 12:03

    100% along louis botha ave they dig and dig and dig, side roads cant be used because of all the dam digging and nothing is done, lay the bloody cables and connect the freaking 10mbps, why all this stalling? Im 100% with Dominic on this, bloody telskum

  • Helen - 2011-08-06 19:01

    More ranting from an association that is just as bad as Telkom. They've done nothing but complain about Telkom since their inception. All they really care about is making money from, and protecting, their members. Why? Because they make huge amounts of money in membership fees. Their greed is ultimately a detriment to Internet users in this country. If ISPA had any integrity, there would have been positive changes years ago.

      k1dbl4ck - 2011-09-23 03:21

      go smoke some more pot Helen.

  • Rodney_M - 2011-08-06 20:18

    When I applied for broadband for my business in March I was told in they can't I was told because I have a switchboad 'roaming' facility on my ISDN and fax lines I either have to apply for discontinuation of the former or install a 3rd line - please, who needs ISDN in this milliennium and shouln't it be obvious once you have broadbband, the archaic ISDN becomes redundant? Needless to say, am still waiting to have the ISDN line 'converted'...

  • Annamarie - 2011-08-08 13:22

    Bout time someone kick’s Telkom the knees. I work for a ISP provider in the admin dept. And it's shocking to see how much business gets lost due to Telkom NOT COMING TO THE PARTY and just getting promised services done. They need better prepared and compitent people in top management wich they are lacking majorly of.

  • madras - 2011-09-23 06:41

    Do as I did, tell Telkom to shove it as far as it will go, there are plenty of other options, since I had my first cell phone, I have not used Telkom once,I even told them to come and take out of my garden the distribution pole, they had us over a barrel for years, screwed us rotton, now we can dictate to them, make them bankrupt, greedy bastards

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