Following discussions with the Internet Service Provider’s Association (ISPA), Telkom South Africa has announced the participation of several of ISPA’s members in its high speed broadband pilot programme.
Telkom’s high-speed broadband pilot footprint spans 16000 ports and aims to test the integration to IT BSS/OSS systems.
The pilot will also serve to validate and test service fulfilment and assurance processes, assess field technical and operational readiness and evaluate the customer experience at a set service configuration.
Telkom unveiled the programme earlier this month which will be piloted in five areas of three provinces in South Africa: Benmore Gardens, Fourways and Waterkloof in Gauteng; Durban North in Kwa-Zulu Natal and Durbanville in the Western Cape.
Managing Director of Telkom Wholesale and Networks, Bashier Sallie said, “We are happy to announce the participation of ISP’s in the pilot. Our engagement with ISPA and their members was very constructive. We have agreed on key conditions that will ensure the original intent and timelines of the pilot are met.”
Co-chair of ISPA, Jaap Scholten noted that Telkom had met with ISPA earlier this month to explain in detail what Telkom’s objectives are in respect of the pilot as well as outlining the exchange areas which will be covered by the pilot.
“A pilot sample was derived in order to meet the strict timelines thus enabling Telkom to control and manage the pilot process,” explained Scholten.
“ISPA is very pleased that at the end of this meeting, a “win win” outcome was achieved wherein four of our members will be participating in the pilot. Telkom is currently finalising the participating criteria with these ISPs,” said Scholten.
MWeb, Internet Solutions, WebAfrica and Cybersmart will together with Telkom Internet test broadband speeds of up to 40 Mbps in areas where Telkom has deployed new generation access network kits.
This means that certain of the other ISPs customers will now be eligible to experience the higher speeds for the duration of the pilot. The pilot will run until the end of January 2013.
Derek Hershaw, CEO of MWeb said, “We are very happy to be taking part in this trial, which we hope will be a precursor to bringing SA’s fixed-line broadband in line with international standards.”
Echoing this sentiment, WebAfrica’s CEO Tim Wyatt-Gunning said, “We are very excited to be included in a trial which goes a long way to ensuring South Africa can offer a globally competitive Internet experience.”
Internet Solutions’ Executive for Connectivity, Sean Nourse added, “Internet Solutions is pleased to have the opportunity to be included in the High Speed Broadband Trial and hope, as the process kicks off, that we can work with Telkom and have a successful outcome.”
“This trial is an important mechanism towards proving the viability of faster broadband access in South Africa and Cybersmart is committed to this process through participation with our customers,” said Laurie Fialkov, Managing Director of Cybersmart.
Noting the keen interest and enthusiasm to participate in the trial, Sallie concluded, “It really is a key barometer of demand for truly differentiated broadband in the country. The industry recognises the step-change potential of Telkom’s plans to revamp our broadband capability and the need to have aggressive time-lines on the trial duration with serious intent make the new high speed broadband services commercially available as soon as possible.”