The Internet Service Providers’ Association (Ispa) wants Telkom and its regulator to revisit the issue of broadband ADSL line rental and access charges to help bring the prices of broadband down.
The organisation says that the “Telkom tax” is one of the factors still keeping broadband prices artificially high and believes that there is scope for line rental charges to be restructured and reduced.
Ipsa says consumers should not be forced to take a voice line to access an ADSL line.
Ispa GM Ant Brooks (pictured) says the “high line rental costs remain a major barrier to wider adoption of broadband”.
“Though we accept that Telkom and other fixed-line providers incur a cost providing line infrastructure, we believe that fees for analogue line rental and ADSL access should be lower.”
The analogue line rental and ADSL access costs for a 4Mbit/s ADSL service are R544.month, which means that high-speed access is “unaffordable for most South Africans before bandwidth costs are even factored into the equation”.
“A major part of this cost, or R131, is related to an analogue voice line rental tariff for a service many consumers don’t even want,” says Brooks.
He says Telkom is able to impose a tax because of its stranglehold on “local-loop infrastructure” and says the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) needs to investigate.
“We want more transparency and equitability in how access charges are billed to Internet service providers and consumers,” Brooks says. “Line rental and ADSL access are among the few elements of total ADSL costs that have not come down over the past few years.” — Staff reporter, TechCentral