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Telkom has announced that it will be transitioning its customers using copper-based internet infrastructure to fibre-based internet.
The transition will apply to all regions that are fibre-ready in South Africa — doing away with the older internet cables that typical ADSL and DSL connections rely on.
“This migration applies to all customers residing in fibre-ready regions around the country where the current DSL infrastructure overlaps with the FTTH (fibre-to-the-home) footprint,” Telkom said in a statement.
According to the company, they have launched the transition to combat cable theft, which results in significant downtime and infrastructure costs.
In terms of benefits for consumers, fibre offers better response times even with the same internet plan speeds.
Fibre connections also offer more stable internet that’s less vulnerable to congestion. This means customers won’t see the same slow speeds during peak times nearly as much.
The company also lost customers in 2018/2019 as more people transitioned to fibre providers instead.
What this fibre upgrade means for Telkom customers
The move away from copper connections is compulsory. This means customers can’t opt to simply keep their traditional copper ADSL plan if their area supports fibre.
The company plans to decommission copper connections completely where fibre is available.
Affected customers will be contacted directly by the Telkom to detail the fibre upgrade process.
This includes organising the free installation of the fibre CPE (client premisis equipment) inside customers’ homes.
“We want all those affected to know that we are waiving the cost of installation. So, essentially, customers can benefit from an incredible upgrade without having to pay a cent in the process. The only cost involved will be the monthly cost of the new internet package that each user selects,” says Steven White, Executive: Product Development & Management at Telkom.
But what if you don’t want a fibre connection?
Telkom has said that it will work with customers to move them to another alternative internet connection. These include options such as wireless LTE and Fixed Line Lookalike (FLLA).
“Customers can rest assured that Telkom won’t leave them in the lurch. While the move away from copper-based internet is compulsory, we are here to work with customers to find an alternative connectivity solution that best suits their needs,” White says.
The installation of fibre equipment is free. But customers will still have to pay the cost of their new internet plan.