What happens to Telkom’s old copper cables after it kills ADSL

As Openserve decommissions its old copper cable network, it is pulling up the copper and reselling it, the company has told MyBroadband.

“It’s a rigorous process,” Openserve said.

Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko confirmed in May that the company plans to decommission its old copper network in the next five years.

The company previously told MyBroadband that it would begin migrating users in batches. Telkom hoped to have moved all of its ADSL customers who live in areas where fibre is available to the newer technology by the end of September.

In areas where Telkom ADSL customers do not have fibre coverage, they will be offered a look-alike fixed-LTE service.

If you are using a capped ADSL connection at a fixed speed, you will be offered an LTE package with unrestricted speeds and the same monthly usage limits.

Customers with uncapped ADSL connections at a fixed speed will be offered a throttled LTE connection with uncapped data usage, subject to a fair usage policy.

Migrations begin

At the end of July, Telkom announced that it had migrated 96% of its prepaid fixed-line customers to wireless products and would be shutting down the service on 1 August.

“Telkom’s wireless service is more reliable than its copper-based technology and is less susceptible to interruptions as a result of adverse weather conditions, faults and cable theft,” the company said in a statement.

In a subsequent interview with MyBroadband, Maseko said that Telkom doesn’t want to be in a situation where it is maintaining two or three different networks at the same time, because that increases costs.

“We will get to a point where [copper] is end-of-life and, in essence, the customer has to move to a newer technology because we will also run out of people who would have had the skill to properly maintain the copper network,” Maseko said.

Not just ADSL

Shutting down Telkom’s copper network has far-reaching consequences. It’s not only landline phones and ADSL that will be affected, but also traditional fax machines, some alarm systems, and speed point machines.

Telkom has said that it is testing a solution for this issue which will cater for fax, alarms, and speed point services on an Internet voice service it calls OTTV.

The company is busy documenting the business process for its replacement service for legacy systems to ensure all its stakeholders are on board and approve the solution.

“As soon as it is documented, and official brief will be sent to all channels,” Telkom said.

Now read: Telkom is cutting copper lines, but there is good news

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What happens to Telkom’s old copper cables after it kills ADSL