South Africa: Three more ISPs able to support DStv’s On Demand programme service and open peering


MultiChoice announced last week that three additional ISPs would be able to serve content from the DStv On Demand service. DStv On Demand allows DStv Premium subscribers in South Africa to view series, sport and movies on their computer over their Internet connection. MultiChoice recommends at minimum, an uncapped 512 kbps ADSL connection on the On Demand website.

In the statement MultiChoice said that each ISP would communicate when the service would become available to their customers. Clayton Timcke, Group Marketing Manager for Vox Telecom, said that they aren't able to provide an accurate date for when the service would be live on Vox's network but added, “We are working with DStv to get it up as soon as possible.”

Regardt van de Vyver, Managing Director of Neology, explained that they have been peering with MWEB since December last year when they implemented an open peering policy with all JINX members. DStv On Demand uses an authentication mechanism that they first need to integrate. “We expect that such services will go online during the next two to three weeks,” van de Vyver said.

Cybersmart customers will also be able to access DStv on demand. Laurie Fialkov, MD of Cybersmart, says he doesn't “imagine it would be more than a month or so before [they] can get the service to work properly.” There are some other consumer ISPs that provision their services through Neology and Vox - DStv customers using these ISPs will also be able to access On Demand.

Timcke says that Vox hopes to offer DStv On Demand to their ADSL customers across the whole group, including @lantic. Neology is the technology partner of IPINX and van de Vyver says that any ISP that has purchased IPC services from them would be able to access DStv On Demand when the integration is complete. “It should be made clear that only services provided via their respective IPC links or leased circuits would qualify as DStv On Demand has specific quality of service requirements,” van de Vyver said.

Van de Vyver was able to confirm that customers using SAINET, SADV and Apolix Internet Services would be among those able to access DStv On Demand.

Van de Vyver said that providers that peer with each other cause a certain level of network resilience since a connection could be obtained via both a peering and transit link. “It also typically further reduces latency as providers are normally keen on building out capacity to peering locations due to the perceived savings in bandwidth charges,” van de Vyver said.

Other benefits include lower costs for local bandwidth, which allowed providers like Sainet to launch their “split-billing” packages earlier this year with local bandwidth coming in at under R10 per GB.

The real issue with peering, said van de Vyver, is the situation where parties aren't at a particular peering location, or prefer to only peer privately. “One would hope that the DSTV Online service is wielded as a tool to encourage those unwilling peers to take a more open peering stance,” van de Vyver said. “We obviously hope to see more open peers at JINX and other peering locations.”