MyBroadband has received a complaint from a Telkom VDSL subscriber whose service has been down for a week.
While the downtime of a single subscriber is not news in itself, our investigation unearthed that the downtime was caused by a larger network issue.
According to feedback from Openserve about the downtime, the power to the ISAM (Intelligent Services Access Manager) which serves the user in question was off due a non-payment issue.
An ISAM supports passive optical networking (PON) and digital subscriber line (DSL) technologies on the same platform.
It is concerning that non-payment has resulted in downtime of a core network component which has left many Telkom users without connectivity.
Openserve explained that “until this issue [non-payment and therefore no electricity] is resolved, the customer’s service cannot be restored by the technical staff”.
The same thing happened before
The situation above is not an isolated event. In October, MyBroadband reported that a frustrated property owner switched off the Telkom cellphone tower on his property after the company failed to pay him for electricity and rental.
The property is a commercial building in Glenhazel, Johannesburg. Telkom previously reached an agreement with the owner to mount a base station on the building, allowing it to provide improved coverage in the area.
Under this arrangement, Telkom would reimburse the owner for the electricity required to run the site and pay him a monthly rental amount.
The owner of the property told MyBroadband that initially, Telkom paid all of its bills on time and he received the amount he had been promised on a monthly basis. This did not last for long, however.
Non-payment from Telkom
A few months later, the owner said he began receiving sporadic and insufficient payments from Telkom for the tower lease agreement.
He said that Telkom occasionally paid him far less than it was supposed to according to the agreement. Other months, he was simply not paid at all.
He began to mail and call Telkom on a regular basis in an attempt to find out why the company would not pay him for site rental or electricity.
Despite repeated emails and other attempts at communication, the owner said he did not receive any response from Telkom.
He subsequently sent an email to Telkom warning the company that if he did not receive payment by a certain date, he would switch off the tower on his premises.
The deadline came and went, and during the second week of October, the owner turned off the power supply to the Telkom tower, rendering it offline.
No response from Telkom
MyBroadband reached out to Telkom for comment on the non-payment issue related to the ISAM mentioned above, but the company did not respond by the time of publication.