Telkom, that magnificent giant that boasts a strangehold over the entire country’s communications is planning to upgrade speeds for users of their lower-cost ADSL packages come June, according to sources that spoke to MyBroadband this past week. The source claimed that the speed upgrades can be expected by June this year.
The first group to receive boosts will be DSL 384KB/s users who’ve been stuck with the same speeds for nearly seven years and will be upgraded to 1Mb/s. Ideally all 384 users should be within 2km from their nearest exchange to receive full benefit and will be able to download at speeds which peak at 114KB/s. One megabyte of data should finish in under 11 seconds and it will be ideal for users who need to keep in touch with Skype, social networks and online gaming. Users currently pay R159 for access to the lowest-cost broadband that Telkom offers, and should really give a big boost to the value-for-money that Telkom so desperately needs to provide.
Next are the guys who signed up for Telkom’s 1Mb/s service. They should be bumped up to 2Mb/s by the end of July and will enjoy download speeds of up to 256KB/s. With the new speeds, downloading 1GB worth of Steam updates should now only take 66 minutes. With double the speed, the line can support simultaneous use of Skype, VOIP, online gaming and browsing for a small to medium-size family or business and should be the baseline option for gamers and heavy downloaders.
In fact, this week MWEB announced price cuts to their 1Mb/s services and higher, effectively pricing it the same as their 384 Uncapped offering that they previously had. Other ISPs are also readying themselves for some kind of change, and this might actually happen if all goes according to plan.
As always, though, take this with a pinch of salt. Unless your area has been recently upgraded with Fiber to the curb (FTTC) by Telkom and if you’ve noticed your line becoming faster and more stable in recent months, you probably won’t get the full advertised speed. Even if the upgrades do happen, it’ll probably take around a year for them to finalise the increase in all areas. Those of you connected to exchanges that are already running at full capacity may have to wait while Telkom upgrades your area first.
Finally, for those on 4Mb/s, you can look forward to higher speeds up to 10Mb/s as exchanges around the country are upgraded thanks to Telkom’s confirmed network revamp, and those of you in trial areas for VDSL and Fiber to the Home (FTTH) connections may be up for testing at speeds up to 1Gb/s. Telkom expects to have a Fiber network commercially available to all consumers by 2015, with minimum broadband speeds of 2Mb/s in all areas.
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