Many Telkom customers have complained of cable theft affecting their Internet connection, as copper cables used for ADSL connectivity are a prime target for thieves in South Africa.
This has grown into a serious cable theft problem for South Africa, which Telkom has stated affects thousands of its customers every year.
“Cable theft is a major problem which affects Telkom’s ability to provide services and the customer experience,” the company told MyBroadband.
When a customer is impacted by cable theft, they are reimbursed for the downtime experienced, provided they log a fault stating their problem.
“Customers that are affected by cable theft issues are credited for the downtime they experienced if they log a fault or raise a dispute and provided the customer acknowledges that their service is impacted on receipt of an SMS from Telkom.”
Telkom added that in instances where cable theft is constant and makes it not financially viable for the company to replace the copper, impacted customers are migrated to alternative technology including fixed wireless, LTE, and fibre.
This means that if the copper cable you rely on for your Internet connection is stolen, Telkom may migrate you to an alternative solution instead of replacing your connection.
While the company’s struggles with copper cable theft have been common knowledge for years, Telkom has now confirmed that it is proactively moving ADSL customers onto newer technologies.
Telkom told MyBroadband it plans to decommission old ADSL lines in certain areas and outfit them with newer connectivity.
“Telkom is in the process of decommissioning ageing, legacy technology in selected areas, to be replaced with a new and more effective wireless or fibre service,” Telkom said.
“This upgrade is necessitated by the need for more reliable infrastructure and ongoing cable theft.”
In simple terms, it is becoming too costly for Telkom to maintain its old ADSL network, and it has subsequently decided to proactively migrate customers to newer infrastructure.
“The limited availability of parts required to maintain these legacy copper services is impacting our network and our ability to offer reliable technology services,” Telkom said.
The company said this migration process is progressing well and gaining momentum, with an increasing number of customers being migrated to alternative technology.
“We are confident that the initiative will assist in minimising unexpected service interruptions and offer our customers a better experience,” Telkom said.