In Telkom’s Acceptable Use Policy for ADSL Access Service the company warns, amoung other things, against the downloading of large files or large quantities of files and online gaming as it “may result in excessive data transfer”.
Telkom points out that the downloading of files like movies, MP3s, games and software using applications such as Napster, Kazaa, E-donkey is not allowed.
“Refrain from using automated download programs. You may not install automated search and retrieve programs or similar automated and manual routines, which generate excessive amounts of network traffic,” Telkom warns.
The company also warns that ADSL users should limit the usage of data transfer when playing games online. “Alternatively use local gaming sites like games.saix.net,” Telkom says.
Mail, News Groups and CHAT programs are also not deemed safe, and Telkom warns that files with the suffix "avi", "jpeg", "mpeg", "gif", and others which are sent to customers can contain very large amounts of data.
The company continues to prohibit running servers (that put traffic on the network) and hosting multi-user interactive forums, such as chat rooms.
Against ADSL regulations
Telkom makes it clear that it reserves the right, and will take necessary steps, to prevent improper or excessive usage.
“The action that Telkom may take includes, but is not limited to, limiting throughput, preventing or limiting service through specific ports or communication protocols, and a complete termination of service to customers with improper or excessive usage.”
This threat is however entirely against the ICASA ADSL Regulations which clearly states that “Telkom, SNO and ISPs shall not be allowed to impose port prioritization on their subscribers.”
Apart from possibly being unlawful the warning against activities like online gaming goes against Telkom’s own ADSL marketing campaign.
In many of its ADSL advertising campaigns Telkom punts movie downloads, listening to music and online gaming as activities associated with its ADSL products.
It is further of value to note that most definitions for broadband – the name that Telkom sells its products under – say that it is, “A way of transmitting large amounts of data, voice, and video that is greater than telephony networks.”
This is the exact activity which Telkom warns against, raising questions as to whether the incumbent truly has broadband products.
Telkom concludes its Acceptable Use Policy for ADSL Access Service with a stern warning that it “reserves the right to take any actions that it may deem appropriate with respect to such activities, including without limitation, investigating suspected violations of this AUP, taking action to recover the costs and expenses of identifying offenders and terminating their access to and use of the ADSL access service, and levying cancellation charges to cover Telkom’s costs in the event of termination of access to the ADSL access service.”