Naked ADSL will cost more: ICASA

Many consumers have been asking for a naked ADSL service for years, but despite the recently released local loop unbundling (LLU) findings it is not likely to become a reality soon.

“Naked ADSL” is a phrase used to describe the ability to pay for the line rental of ADSL separately to the normal analogue phone line.

This separation isn’t available in South Africa as Telkom requires customers to rent a phone line from them if they want ADSL services.

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) said today (30 November 2011) that it believes that naked ADSL is a function of Telkom’s access line deficit, and that it therefore makes no sense to introduce a naked ADSL service at a price which is higher than what consumers are currently paying.

ICASA added that if the access line deficit problem can be solved it will help with a potential naked ADSL service.

MWEB naked ADSL campaign

MWEB recently launched a campaign calling for the implementation of naked ADSL as part of their ‘Free the Web’ campaign.

“Although our voice lines do currently subsidise a portion of our ADSL line costs, consumers should still see a reduction in costs if you didn’t have to have a landline,” MWEB said in the press statement announcing the launch of the campaign.

In a recent poll on MyBroadband, well over 90% of people who voted supported MWEB’s call for the introduction of a naked ADSL service.

Rudi Jansen
Rudi Jansen - MWEB CEO

Telkom not keen on naked ADSL

Despite the outcry for a naked ADSL service Telkom has previously described the call for naked ADSL as “ill informed and nonsensical” considering their network architecture.

Telkom explains that their modernized network architecture employs a ‘Combo card’ in a concentration device where both the voice dial tone and broadband modulation is derived from a single termination point.

Telkom basically argues that it will not benefit consumers if they remove the voice portion from their ADSL service because consumers will still have to pay for the copper portion from their residence to the exchange.

Telkom also does not look keen to speak about naked ADSL. Telkom was asked for their official stand on naked ADSL, but the company opted to remain quiet on the issue and provided no feedback.

Pinky Moholi
Pinky Moholi - Telkom CEO

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Naked ADSL will cost more: ICASA