Telkom denial of service

Trying to get decent (and cheap) broadband in South Africa is like finding a virgin in a brothel. Mobile and wirless technologies are good but the latency associated with such service is unbearable when playing games online. If you have ever attemped playing COD4 against international players you will know what I mean.

So it is the most patriotic thing to do, and choose the national carrier: Telkom – this was my first mistake.

Having moved into a new house, for whatever bizarre reason, I can not not have ADSL installed right away. I need to first have a phone line installed, and once this is done can I apply for ADSL. For another bizarre reason, Telkom is only able to tell me if I will get ADSL for certain once that line is installed.

Telkom staff expect you to remain at home waiting for them, if they choose to pitch up to install a line. So it is more than natural to expect that if you specify that you’re not at home and need to be called when their technician comes out, surely they should call when their technician comes out? NO.

IS TELKOM BREAKING THE LAW? – apparently so: ICASA published its ADSL regulations in August 2006, calling for – among other things – the installation of an ADSL service within 30 working days. It has now been more than 30 working days (since initial application on 19th January) to just get a telephone line installed.

The installation date given by Telkom translates into 30 to 40 working days – clearly in contravention of ICASA’s ADSL regulations. This may however not be the only regulation which Telkom is in contravention of. The ADSL regulations prohibit port prioritization – something which is still part and parcel of Telkom’s standard ADSL offering.

If you happen to choose an ISP other than Telkom you get further penalised by not getting the prompt service of having an ADSL port allocated to you (this would be bad, Telkom can certainly not give the same customer service to the competition).

Needless to say – I am still without a telephone line and will probably have another 4-6 weeks waiting time to have ADSL access installed – in short it is quicker to go and visit the Northpole: