Doubts raised over Telkom’s fibre plans

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Telkom (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)
Telkom (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

Johannesburg - Fin24 users have raised questions about how Telkom will meet its goal to roll out fibre broadband to one million homes by 2018.

Telkom’s chief executive officer Sipho Maseko outlined the company’s fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) plans on Monday at the company’s annual Satnac conference in Hermanus.

Maseko said that Telkom had connected 38 000 homes to fibre in August 2015 and that by December 2015 it would have hit 70 000 homes.

Maseko further said this figure is expected to grow to 150 000 by March next year and 500 000 by the end of 2016. In 2018, Telkom expects to have one million fibre broadband connections.

The comments by Maseko come amid increasing competition in the fibre broadband space with the likes of Vumatel having stated that it’s targeting 100 000 FTTH connections by 2016.

Fin24 users, though, are skeptical of Telkom’s fibre ambitions.

Fin24 user Steven wrote:

“There is no way Telkom can stick to its promises. I had been stuck in a 2Mbps line for over for years until early last year when they eventually upgraded the exchange in my area to accommodate 4Mbps lines, only to find out two weeks ago that I had been put back to a 2Mbps line as apparently Telkom can no longer provide a 4Mbps line in my area. If Telkom can't even manage to keep a simple 4Mbps line operational in an area, there is doubt that they could ever roll out FTTH to one million homes.”

Fin24 user Anand said, “I do not believe that Telkom has the ability / infrastructure / capacity to compete with the new players on the Fibre Optic block.”

Anand further wrote:

“I had Telkom ADSL Installed by Telkom on my home computer system in 2004. I have upgraded constantly and currently stand at 2Mbps with 10GB data per month. The system is very slow and bad. Weather slows it down even further, and the Telkom line has broken down three times this year. This is the same pattern in past years with constant breakdowns.”

However, Fin24 user Singh is more optimistic about Telkom’s fibre plans, albeit in a tongue in cheek way...

“I hope Telkom can achieve this.  With all the cable theft, no lines were replaced and their wireless connections are bad. Lots of households in my area have moved to other service providers.  Every time you call Telkom to enquire as to when the fibre optic cable will be installed, no one can provide an answer.  Henceforth I am surprised at their roll out plans.  I hope it reaches my area before the 2022 Commonwealth Games.”

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