View Full Version : What is bad about Telkom ADSL
14-04-2004, 10:31 AM
I think it is time we refresh our memories on what the problems with Telkom's version of ADSL is:
It is overprices when compared with our trading partner countries
It is technologically outdated when compared with our trading partners
(eg max speed is 512kb/s)
The pricing structure where the line cost is much higher than bandwidth cost
Measured on both international and local - should be international only as this is where Telkom claims the cost is
The size of the cap is also far too low to fit a broadband service.
The ports priorities should be published for users (and potential) users so informed decisions can be made
Service level Agreement: The "Best effort" statement is laughable from a commercial perspective. You tell your boss your work is not completed in time but you gave him "your best effort".
The incompetence of the helpdesk staff.
The 3-weeks-if-you-are-lucky installation delay.
So, if the rumours of changing the cap rules holds any truth, it will reduce one of the trouble spots, but a large number remain.
South Africa needs World Class Broadband at World Competitive Prices.
14-04-2004, 11:38 AM
If the rumours of changing the cap rules hold any truth, it will compound one of the trouble spots, 3Gig international and 10Gig local.
Having been a subscriber from the (commercial, I missed the Beta) start of the service, what upsets me the most is the way that the rules change without notice?
Initially there was no cap, but Telkom did advise users that their would be one later, so no complaint there. The first real problem I had was when applications that I had been using from day one suddenly packed up due to port shaping. As the months progressed more and more apps where effected as they refined or further constricted the port shaping.
Then web sites began to disappear as they implemented their transparent proxy.
The advertising slogans began to change i.e. Always on became always available etc., and the terms and conditions on the web site were updated.
Just to rub salt into the wound the cap changed from upload or download to combined total (an effective 20% or more reduction in bandwidth). As the number of users increased, and as a result the number of capped users, no additional bandwidth was allocated to the capped route, rendering it useless.
Suddenly we are faced with call out charges, unless we can prove that it is a Telkom fault, effectively forcing us to do the bulk of the trouble shooting for Telkom. Next they reconfigured the network and rendered the Marconi USB modems useless, until we located and downloaded 3rd party drivers (It took Telkom a week to admit it and agree to refund the call out fees for three effected sites).
Most recently they changed the SMTP routing and caused havoc with both ISP and end-user emails until, again without any Telkom assistance, we worked out which SMTP servers were still available on which network segments.
The bottom line is that Telkom sell a product and then change the specifications at will, reduce the service, increase the costs, add users without upgrading the infrastructure until we get to a point that we are no longer getting the service we signed up for.
It looked good when I signed, but if I had seen the new terms and conditions, I never would have taken the service. And we have no way to make them implement what we originally signed up for.
14-04-2004, 12:19 PM
I agree hat a lot of problems will remain, even after some adjustments like better capping... (as the rumour goes)
From a pragmatical perspective I think that the pricing will not change for some while, but some other services may improve with minimal effort from Telkom.
The cap is an example. It is a mainly cosmetic change to increase the (experimental) 3 gig cap to 10, or even beter, to 1 Gig per day, as we get in developed countries.
Customer service etc may also be improved, but bad customer service is not completely unique to Telkom, the whole SA is guilty.
I don't know too much about their port prioritisation policy, but I don't feel the effect of it (lately at least), although I am a gamer and p2p downloader. But if it becomes a problem, it should be dropped for sure.
Finally I agree that Telkom should have a more direct and explicit commitment regarding their ASL product, and the "Best effort" statement is not acceptable.
I feel that if the cap can be increased or removed, or modified in some satisfactory way, we gained a lot, and Telkom did not lose a lot. It may be arealistic outcome of our efforts.
14-04-2004, 01:11 PM
A few other points-
a) about their call out charges:
5 times I had problems with ADSL - one time it was even my exchange that was down - and their support people knew nothing about it. Not once was it my fault. Known faults should be published - I even suggested utilising this site as a bulletin board. If it is known that there are a problem, their technicians will not waste my time rebooting machines and switching hubs off. I believe that if it is a known problem that I am wasting my time on, that if they cvan charge - so can I. Not once was the fault mine and of course one day I will just report the fault when indeed it is my own and they will then charge me. 10 Minutes after I reported the last fault, a techie phoned me and said that there was an error in my exchange. Why could the helpline instead of threatening me with call-out charges and totally upsetting me not rather have told me about the known problem. The bottom-line is that if you're service works and it is 98% customer faults, then you can charge for call-outs. My ISP Mweb was also not aware of any problems in the last instance, I mean can they charge Telkom for the fact that I frist check with them when something is wrong?
2) Fixing problems.
I reported the last error at 09h00 after the line went down at 23h00 the previous day. They needed a spare part from stores. Admittedly it was a Public Holiday but it took them until 18h00 the day I reported it to fix the problem. Thus my ADSL was down for 19 hours. In the modern day world this can not be n accepted level of service. If one of my customers lose a file server I have them up and running within 4 hours, including the restoration of data.
3) Port prioritisation - one of the main reasons we got ADSL was home support. During the day the response on my VPN is so bad that it is better to drive to the offices concerned.
The cost of all the monitoring systems, publication and disputes over stats and bad publicity can surely not be worth it? Not only am I taught to behave irresponsibly - ie heavy downloading of what I possibly think can be necessary at month end instead of download as and when I feel I really need it- but I also have to pay extra for a higher cap which in most countries is deemed ridiculous.
5) No one has ever explained why ISDN is better than ADSL and why Telkom is still pushing ADSL. Except for a human introduced cap and port prioritisation there surely cannot be any doubt in any right-minded persons head that ADSL is by far the better option to go for.