Telkom to roll out 100Mbit/s DSL

1 min read


Internet connectivity in South Africa is still not quite where it needs to be. We have nearly ubiquitous mobile and LTE coverage, but data tariffs are still far too high when compared even with our neighbouring countries. Fibre-to-the-home continues its slow rollout, but mostly in affluent areas. It’ll be a while yet before the more sustainable, future-proof fibre reaches the sort of saturation we need.

Many of us still rely on capper connections, with ADSL and VDSL providing our connectivity. And that could be getting a shot in the arm.

Speaking in the company’s annual results presentation, Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko has said that the company plans to roll out G.Fast technology which will help its legacy copper networks reach speeds of up to 100mbps. According to Maseko, the technology will help bring broadband connectivity to “a lot more people without having to spend hundreds of millions of Rands.”

Before you get excited at the prospect, it’s worth noting that G-Fast is only useful for short copper loops, where consumers are within 500m of their telecommunications service provider’s network. Where this technology could prove useful though is in the last mile; the connectivity between fibre backhaul and users’ homes.

On the one hand, it’s a good way to utilise the legacy copper network by providing faster connectivity on the cheap – but it’s a cost-cutting measure that’s wasting money that should be used to implement fibre for better future proofing. The problem with asynchronous copper connections is that in today’s internet landscape, upload speeds are almost as important as download speeds. While implementing this sort of thing is saving money now, it’s going to have to be replaced in the near future anyway.

Last Updated: June 5, 2017

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I’m old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time – they were capable of being masterpieces. I’m here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

  • So if they are offering 100mb, I presume it means they can speed up the standard 10mb to 100mb.. so my pathetic 3mb may go up to 30mb..

    That’s how this works right?

    • Neji

      So how’s your ftth plans coming along?

      • you cut me real deep…

        My FTTH offerings haven’t changed.. they are still at zero with Vumatel promising coverage then failing to deliver and Telkom accidentally missing my street.

        • Neji

          Time to move… justsayin’

  • WickedMONK3Y

    And as we know from living here in South Africa, just because you can see a distribution box or mini-exchange or even the exchange itself, does NOT mean you are actually connected to that one. There is a shiny new MSAN box installed not 200 meters from my house but its on the other side of the street and because of the way Telkom split areas, it does not cover my side of the street and I am connected to a box one street up which is much further away and no amount of begging will get me connected to the shiny new box…. so no Fibre, no VDSL, just crappy old ADSL. Can’t even get fast mobile, I am literally a meter or two outside their coverage 😛 sigh

  • Graeme Selvan

    We JUST got this installed in our complex, i am waiting to sign up.

    • Galbedir

      Dont hold your breathe, they installed the lines in my area and building 3 months ago…called today and no sign of it being activated soon.

      • Graeme Selvan

        That makes me sad

  • MonsterCheddar


    • HairyEwok

      Telkom also said no line rental fees… soon.

  • schitsophrenic-toothbrush

    It took me a year and a half to receive my fibre, hopefully you guys will get it soon, I can’t explain how amazing it is, the price I was paying for my 3mb line (supposed to be 4mb but because Telkom..) I have a 20mb synchronous uncapped line. Check out the service provider cool ideas ( I have had no issues with these guys, plus its per month with router and installation gratis.

  • Original Heretic

    I know what the problem here is. Telkom.

  • The biggest issue here is that, as with VDSL, you will need to upgrade your home equipment to see benefits too. Add in copper theft, high line rental prices and exchanges that are starting to fall apart, this seems to be a very bad move as it’s going to cos more in upkeep than the speed is worth.

    Also, as indicated, upload speeds.

    • Also, copper will always have higher latency. So it’s really a tech that should be phased out faster instead of trying to make it more robust.

  • I got tired of waiting and want something better. I am planing a microwave MPLS link just for kicks.

  • Matthew Figueira

    Oh ffs. Just roll out fibre countrywide already -_-

  • rollingmol

    I paid about R170 for uncapped 100mb/s in South Korea about 6 years ago. I got close to those speeds in Sa i’m afraid …. plus it will probably cost R2500 a moth knowing telkom… that is without the line 🙂

  • HairyEwok

    They don’t want to invest hundreds of million but they’re willing to take hundreds of millions from the customers, knowing telkom this will be expensive to have.

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