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Telkom claim 100% ADSL coverage

In an Operational Review Summary [1] Telkom claim that 100% of their exchanges are ADSL enabled. While this would be a great step towards connecting Internet users in South Africa it sounds too good to be true. If you look over at the provincial statistcs on this website you will see a vastly different number, only 67% of exchanges are enabled.

Let us take an example exchange and test to see if ADSL is provisioned for that area. A good place to start would be somewhere with low ADSL exchange enablement according to this website, hopefully to correct our error! The Blinkpan exchange [2] seems like a good candidate. If you didn't check out the exchange page the Blikpan suburb, Middleburg in Mpumalanga is served by this exchange. Let's test to see if it is enabled. The Telkom ADSL checker [3] should do the trick. As you can see from the exchange page phone numbers of the form '013295 XXXX' should be serviced by this exchange. Going to the Telkom checker and testing a valid phone number in this form unfortunately gives a result which does not instill confidence in the 100% roll-out claim; 'DSL availability cannot be determined at this stage, please contact the DSL call centre on 10219.'

Looking at the status of ADSL enablement of UK exchanges by BT you will notice it is only just over 99% [4]. Headline figures don't always tell the whole story; there could be some provisos with regards to the 100% rollout claim. For instance: 100% of viable exchanges have been enabled or 100% of exchanges are due to be enabled. This is not made clear by the operational review and thus we are left wondering.

- The Team

[1] Operational Review Summary
[2] TBKO Exchange
[3] Telkom ADSL Checker
[4] UK Broadband stats

Posted 2011-05-05 16:49:05 by Ian Saunders
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