Telkom to phase out copper broadband for fibre-to-the-home

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South Africa’s Telkom has announced plans to replace its copper local broadband infrastructure with fibre.

The company said the change would improve speeds, reduce maintenance costs and resolve the issue of copper cable theft.

“Fibre is a large part of the forward-looking technology that will empower and uplift communities across South Africa, especially when it comes to helping individuals and businesses overcome some of the many challenges inflicted by Covid-19,” said Steven White, Telkom’s director of product development and management.

According to local media, the migration will apply to customers in fibre-ready regions around the country where the current copper-based digital subscriber line (DSL) infrastructure overlaps with its fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) footprint.

White said: “With technology advancing so rapidly, we want to help keep our customers up to date and ensure that they are making the most of what’s available.”

He said: “Customers can rest assured that Telkom will not leave them deadlocked. While the move away from the copper-based internet is mandatory, we will work with customers to find an alternative connectivity solution that best meets their needs.”

If now FTTH is available, Telkom will offer 4G fixed wireless access (FWA), or what it calls fixed line lookalike (FLLA). Telkom has been offering FLLA, using cordless phones with SIM cards, for at least two years.

White told local media that the upgrade from copper DSL to fibre will be free. “We want all those affected to know that we are waiving the cost of installation. So, essentially, customers can benefit from an incredible upgrade without having to pay a cent in the process,” he said, according to local media.

“The only cost involved will be the monthly cost of the new internet package that each user selects.”


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