Naspers-owned Internet service provider MWeb has launched a social media campaign in an attempt to pressure Telkom to stop forcing its broadband asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) customers to pay for telephone line rental if they don’t have a fixed-line voice service.
The company wants Telkom to separate the services and to provide what is colloquially referred to as “naked ADSL”. MWeb says consumers are unable to subscribe to an ADSL-only service, where they rent only the ADSL line and pay for data usage. “If they want ADSL, customers are forced to pay the rental fee for the land line, irrespective of whether they use the line for voice calls.”
The company says that although voice lines subsidise a portion of ADSL line rental costs, consumers should see a reduction in costs if they didn’t have to have a land-line service.
The naked ADSL issue was raised at recent hearings at the Independent Communications Authority of SA into local-loop unbundling, a regulatory intervention where Telkom may be forced to open its “last mile” of copper cable infrastructure to competitors.
“MWeb regards naked ADSL as being a step closer to complete local-loop unbundling as unbundling is expected to be a very lengthy process,” says Derek Hershaw, CEO of MWeb’s Internet service provider business.
MWeb YouTube video aims to pressure Telkom:
The company is taking its campaign to Facebook and other social media networks to encourage consumers to pressure Telkom to separate ADSL line rental from telephone line rental. It has also created a YouTube video (above) that explains the concept and the campaign. — Staff reporter, TechCentral
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