Telkom is reassuring subscribers that they need not panic about the shutdown of ADSL services in several neighbourhoods in South Africa.
“Telkom agents are contacting customers directly to inform them regarding what to expect from the upgrade, and when. All representatives insist that there is no need to panic about a sudden ‘cut-off’,” Telkom said in a press statement on Wednesday.
This comes after the company’s wholesale and networks division, Openserve, announced that it will discontinue copper-based services in areas where fibre broadband is already available.
In areas where Openserve is yet to build out end-to-end fibre infrastructure and finds its current copper infrastructure to be stable and reliable, the company will continue to support, maintain, and provide ADSL and VDSL services.
“Openserve will also be taking strict measures not sell services in areas where the copper infrastructure is old, of poor quality and has been prone to theft, vandalism, and breakages,” the company said.
As part of this strategy, Telkom said it is transitioning its customers from copper-based Internet to new-generation fibre technology in all fibre-ready regions across South Africa.
“The reality is that fibre-based internet promises users several benefits over its copper alternative. First and foremost, customers will enjoy faster internet upload and download speeds, a more stable internet connection, and reduced downtime,” Telkom stated.
“The latter advantage is due to the fact that fibre infrastructure is not at risk of cable theft, a problem that has plagued DSL users for a very long time.”
Steven White, the executive for product development and management at Telkom, assured customers that Telkom will not leave them in the lurch.
“While the move away from copper-based internet is compulsory, we are here to work with customers to find an alternative connectivity solution that best suits their needs. If they aren’t on board with fibre, there are many other options available to choose from, such as wireless LTE and Fixed Line Lookalike (FLLA),” White said.
“We want all those affected to know that we are waiving the cost of installation. So, essentially, customers can benefit from an incredible upgrade without having to pay a cent in the process. The only cost involved will be the monthly cost of the new internet package that each user selects,” White stated.
The switch from copper to fibre is part of Telkom’s long-term strategy to optimise user experience and reduce the cost of maintenance, the company said.
Although it will follow a gradual progression, the overall strategic objective is to decommission and replace old copper technology with fibre entirely.
Telkom urged customers who have concerns regarding the transition to get in touch with an agent for further information and for details regarding fibre, how it works, and why it is superior.