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Determinism and Transparency in the SA Broadband Market

Since posting the article on ADSL enablement in South African exchanges, Telkom claim 100% ADSL coverage, a number of broadband campaigners have been in contact offering to share their frustration with not having access to ADSL. Though all the stories share a similar theme one stood out in particular, the case of the Rynsoord Exchange.

What makes the Rynsoord exchange interesting? Situated 5Kms from Central Benoni it is relatively centrally located. Though not part of a large city it forms a small oasis of residential property in the veld. It is also an oasis in another way, most of the exchanges in close proxmity to it are ADSL enabled [1] with only the Endicott exchange sharing a similar fate. Rynsoord appears to be situated in a less populous area which may have led to it not being ADSL enabled. This is a shame as it does have a growing medium sized school, Rynsoord Primary [2].

Unsurprisingly Rynsoord residents really want broadband! To quote one local, "Contacts with Telkom were done by various members (of the community) ... online forms and orders placed via (the) Telkom Call Centre". To further backup the willingness of residents to get their exchange enabled, "petitions were run by local community members who were becoming frustrated with no ADSL in the area". It seems that all possible avenues have been pursued to demonstrate their commitment to ADSL enable the exchange.

In the opinion of there are a number of issues which need to be addressed to set the expectations of the South African ADSL movement. These issues should be addressed by the incumbent as well as those looking to be part of the South African LLU community:

  1. Transparency

    The first area that would be beneficial to the market would be better transparency with regards to the roll out of ADSL and 10Mbps ADSL. This could take a number of forms:
    • Unviable Exchanges: A list of exchanges which will not receive ADSL in the foreseeable future. This could be for a number of reasons, such as insufficient capacity in the exchange. These reasons should be iterated.
    • Ready for service dates (RFS): A set of the expected exchange enablement or upgrade dates.
  2. Determinism

    The second area that would be beneficial to the broadband market, and has been imployed overseas, is a degree of determinism with regards to exchange enablement. One method of introducing determinism to the market is that once a prerequisite number of households sign up to get ADSL or 10Mbps in their area this would trigger the exchange to receive an aforementioned RFS date. This way communities can work together to help enable their exchanges. This idea has been used in the UK to great success and is currently being imployed in the BT Fiber to the cabinet project, 'Race to Infinity' [3]

As a parting thought, let me leave you with the comments of one Rynsoord resident, Shahed,
quote, "Internet and technology is the way to go, without that the generation is lost to the dynamic world of connectivity. ADSL is an affordable connection method, the youngsters in the community currently are spending all their free time in trivial pursuits, the community is on a drive to encourage an IT environment for its members, this by various forums, discussions etc. In a nutshell, can't live without the world of broadband"

Would you like to share a similar or related story? Please contact us.

- The Team

[1] ADSL Enabled Exchanges in close proximity to Rynsoord.

  • Rynfield
  • Lakeside Mall
  • Daveyton
  • Brakpan
  • Geduld
  • Beverley Hills
  • [2] Rynsoord Primary School
    [3] BT 'Race to Infinity'

    Posted 2011-05-19 12:24:09 by Ian Saunders
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