Internet News - In Brief

Internet

- Internet service providers have made a final plea for wholesale price controls to be slapped on Telkom's bandwidth so rival companies can offer internet access at more competitive fees. Rival service providers currently pay R216 a month to Telkom for every high-speed subscriber on their books, so they struggle to compete in a cost-conscious market, the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) heard last week. Yet when the internet service providers (ISPs) asked Telkom to restructure its fees, Telkom proposed an even more expensive model of charging R27780 a month for a 2MB a second line. The fees proposed by Telkom were "entirely unfeasible", said M-Web's GM of technology operations, Mervyn Goliath, and true competition would only arrive if ISPs were allowed to provide their own infrastructure. But that is illegal under the current law, which obliges ISPs to buy fixed-line infrastructure from Telkom and Icasa should force Telkom to sell its bandwidth at cost-related prices, he said.

Icasa concluded four days of hearings into the cost and quality of Telkom's high-speed ADSL internet service yesterday, and will now wade through the evidence which includes 446 written submissions.