Broadband report card
Internal efficiencies come first
Thami Msimango, Telkom’s chief technology officer (who Samuels reports to) says that Samuels’ key objectives were to integrate the various parts of Telkom’s business, drive service delivery and increase the penetration of ADSL in the residential and commercial markets.
While Telkom reported that 2006 was a bumper year for its broadband services – with more than 200 000 subscribers currently making use of the service – criticism concerning its pricing strategy remains unanswered.
MyADSL founder, Rudolph Muller, says although Telkom has repeatedly promised to
POSSIBLY THE MOST contentious telecoms issues today are the price of broadband and Telkom’s ability to deliver on the roll-out of new broadband lines or repairing the faults on existing ones. That was highlighted by the recent campaign by the Telecoms Action Group and the media attention that garnered.
Telkom has been suspiciously quiet about that criticism, and with Telkom’s broadband officer Alphonzo Samuels in the job for just over a year we sought to see what the public corporation feels has been achieved over that time. cut prices as it ramps up its economies of scale, customers have seen fewer price cuts under current CEO Papi Molotsane than under previous CEO Sizwe Nxasana.
“Under Nxasana, ADSL prices were reduced twice in 2005. Under Molotsane and its new broadband officer, Telkom did away with free local bandwidth, introduced hard capping and put an end to the popular 30 GB accounts sold by many ISPs,” says Muller.
When Telkom reduced its prices the last time, it pushed up the minimum speed of the service to 384kbps from 192kbps and introduced a trial delivering 4Mbps ADSL speeds to subscribers of its 1Mbps service. However, issues concerning capping and pricing of raw bandwidth have yet to be addressed, with the cheapest ADSL option from Telkom costing R400/month, including ISP charges.
Unfortunately, expectations created when Samuels
“Customers have seen fewer price cuts under current CEO Papi Molotsane than under previous CEO Sizwe Nxasana.”
was appointed – that a dedicated broadband officer would create a consumer’s champion within Telkom and deliver a better deal for broadband clients – haven’t materialised.
With Telkom prioritising the delivery of infrastructure over the next year – including accelerating the project to cut the distance between the exchange and the customer, providing better client-installable options and quickening the delivery of wired and wireless broadband technologies – Samuels has his plate full this year.
Growth continuing apace. Thami Msimango