Telkom sets the cat among the pigeons

Telkom officially comments on the recent use of a homing pigeon to transfer data 'faster than ADSL'

September 10, 2009
Telkom sets the cat among the pigeons

Telkom today officially commented on the widely publicized data transfer race between a homing pigeon and an ADSL service.  According to Telkom a few points regarding the experiment needs clarification.

It must be noted that Telkom’s only involvement by way of service provisioning is the actual ADSL access lines. Contrary to speculation, the customer has an up-to 512kbps service at his Howick site from where the “race” commenced – and not Telkom’s up-to 4Mbps ADSL service.

Furthermore, it must be highlighted that Telkom is not the customer’s Internet Service Provider (ISP). Consequently, Telkom is unaware of what services, Service Level Agreements (SLAs), throttling, capping arrangements, etc exist between the customer and his ISP. These are all considerations that will impact the customer’s throughput speeds, especially in view of the fact that their network traffic travels across the public internet via a private ISP.

The ADSL service, in this application, represents a best-effort, unmanaged service which, as was highlighted to the customer during at least five previous meetings, is not the ideal option for inter-connecting Call-Centres. Having understood the nature of the customer’s business, Telkom advised on alternative means of connectivity which the customer has not, to date, accepted. These included a fully managed IP network solution that is more suited to their specific requirement of transporting large amounts of critical data between their sites and their head-office.

Telkom notes with interest that the customer has validated the fact that their choice of technology in the form of ADSL is not suited to the specific business applications that they currently use.

It must be re-iterated that Telkom has endeavoured to convey this view to the customer on several occasions over the past two years and presented alternative solutions which the customer has not embraced. Nevertheless, the Company is still amenable to further present its tailored solutions that will better address the customer’s needs.

One further needs to question the intentions of the customer, as any commercial enterprise is obligated by corporate governance considerations to secure information and data in their possession as well as ensure that the integrity thereof is maintained.

It must also be noted that no faults or complaints were logged by the customer on any of his lines or escalated to his Customer Relationship Manager, while the customer’s fault history over the recent past indicates that an overwhelming majority of these emanated from customer premises equipment and not the Telkom network.

Finally, it has not escaped Telkom’s attention that this entire episode has generated much excitement and interest, but the Company emphatically denies that we are currently considering placing this means of data transfer in our product catalogue and wholesaling it. However, Telkom is glad that, finally, we are able to welcome “real” competition in the telecommunications industry and, as a Company, we are confident that the above-mentioned points of clarification will certainly set the cat among the pigeons.

MyBroadband has previously shown that the experiment does not have much value in terms of evaluating broadband speeds, and may well have been a publicity stunt by the company involved.

Pigeonrace 2009 discussion

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