Fibre is much cheaper than ADSL in South Africa – Here is the simple reason

Uncapped fibre-to-the-home is now much cheaper than comparable ADSL or VDSL services in South Africa.

The main reason for the pricing difference is that Telkom forces all ADSL and VDSL subscribers to pay R200.74 per month for their copper line.

Telkom describes this service as a “basic landline to get talking the old-fashioned way”, but even if people have no interest in using their landline for phone calls they are still forced to pay this fee.

A basic landline subscription from Telkom is, however, needed for any ADSL or VDSL subscription even if you subscribe through an ISP like Afrihost or Axxess.

Calls for a naked ADSL service

For over a decade, South African Internet service providers have called on Telkom to launch a naked ADSL service.

Naked ADSL is the term used for a standalone ADSL service where there is not a forced standard landline rental of R200.74 per month, payable to Telkom.

Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko gave users some hope when he said in June 2016 that line rental would be removed from broadband services.

Maseko said its broadband products would change to be more about “the service” and “less about lines”.

However, this never materialised and South African consumers continue to fork out over R200 per month for an analogue land line which they do not use for calls.

DSL dying

The higher prices associated with ADSL and VDSL, inferior service levels, and being forced to deal with Telkom means that people are dumping their landlines at a rapid rate.

Telkom now has 2,267,000 fixed-line subscribers, down from 2,678,000 a year ago. This is a year-on-year decline of 441,000 lines.

Telkom’s ADSL, VDSL, and fibre subscribers have also declined from 981,176 in March 2018 to 847,650 in March 2019.

This 13.6% decline in fixed-broadband subscribers comes at a time when there is a strong demand for fibre-to-the-home services in South Africa.

New fibre operators are eating Telkom’s lunch and the company seems unable to react to stem this tide.

Price comparison – Fibre versus ADSL

The table below, based on Afrihost’s fibre and ADSL prices, show the difference between fibre and DSL prices in South Africa.

Price Comparison – Fibre versus DSL
Service Network Provider Uncapped Price Line Rental Total Price
10Mbps Fibre Openserve R667.00 R667.00
10Mbps ADSL Telkom R679.00 R200.74 R879.74
20Mbps Fibre Openserve R797.00 R797.00
20Mbps VDSL Telkom R799.00 R200.74 R999.74
40Mbps Fibre Openserve R917.00 R917.00
40Mbps VDSL Telkom R1,269.00 R200.74 R1,469.74

Now read: South Africa will never see naked ADSL – ISP

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Fibre is much cheaper than ADSL in South Africa – Here is the simple reason