Following an investigation into SA's various broadband offerings, conducted by MyADSL in the last quarter of 2004, Telkom's HomeDSL 384 has emerged as the winner.

However, the study also compared local offerings to the packages available internationally, and in this respect, South African services fall short of the average.

The MyADSL study was initially begun in order to clear up the confusion in the marketplace and to help buyers choose between the various broadband offerings available today.

The percentages to decide the rankings of the various offerings were calculated using an algorithm – designed by Conrad Beyers from the University of Pretoria and Rudolph Muller from MyADSL – to quantify all the results and produce an accurate final mark for each service.

Some 6 000 performance tests, in-depth surveys and user feedback on the services were involved in calculating the final results, which saw Telkom's HomeDSL 384 take top spot with 78%, thanks to its comparatively low cost, performance and reliability.

The monopoly's HomeDSL 512 service was second (75%), followed by WBS's iBurst (70%), Sentech's MyWireless 256 (67%), Telkom's DSL 512 Unshaped (66%) and Sentech's MyWireless 128 (63%).

However, when the same algorithm was used to compare local offerings to international broadband services, the picture was nowhere near as pretty.

There wasn't a single South African service that scored more than 30%, compared to Japan's Yahoo 45Mb broadband offering, which topped the poll with 96%. Price and performance were noted as the major factors that pushed the local services down.

Communications regulator, the Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA), is calling for comments on Telkom's ADSL services from interested parties, in an attempt to breach the gap and bring South African broadband services closer to world standards.
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