Unless Telkom immediately implements a “significant reduction” in wholesale Internet Protocol Connect (IPC) charges, Internet service provider MWeb, a subsidiary of pay-television operator MultiChoice, will take the fixed-line operator to the Competition Commission.
In a statement issued on Thursday, MWeb ISP CEO Derek Hershaw says the company is in discussions with Telkom about the IPC charges, which Internet service providers have to pay for access to the operator’s broadband digital subscriber line (DSL) network.
If significant price cuts are not “immediately forthcoming”, MWeb “will be referring the matter to the Competition Commission, asking it to intervene as a matter of urgency and force the issue”.
“We can then pass on the full benefits of the recent line speed upgrades to all of our customers,” says Hershaw.
MWeb says it is making changes to its standard uncapped and shaped digital subscriber line (DSL) and basic business DSL products whereby data speeds will be increased at no additional cost to customers. In addition, the company is introducing a 6Mbit/s product and reducing pricing on its 10Mbit/s and 20Mbit/s standard uncapped products.
MWeb says the new products and prices are meant as a challenge to rival Telkom and comes in response to the recent DSL line speed upgrade announcements.
Telkom is upgrading line speeds from November 2013 to February 2014. However, MWeb says it is unable to make changes to its premium uncapped shaped and unshaped products until Telkom reduces its charges for IPC.
“A number of MWeb’s uncapped DSL products will be automatically migrated early next year at no extra cost, while premium uncapped products, which offer higher usage thresholds, remain unchanged,” MWeb says.
The company’s unshaped products, which currently have no usage thresholds, also remain unchanged.
“While we welcome Telkom’s initiative to double the access line speeds at no extra costs to the end user, Internet service providers cannot be expected to absorb the costs of a corresponding increase in data products,” it says.
TechCentral has asked Telkom for comment and will update this article when this feedback is received. — (c) 2013 NewsCentral Media