MWEB: Scrap internet charge

2010-04-30 08:16

Johannesburg - MWEB wants all internet service providers (ISPs) and network providers to agree to carry traffic free of charge over to each other's networks.

On Wednesday MWEB declared its willingness to conclude free exchange agreements with other ISPs and said discussions in this regard had already started.

Free transfer agreements, which can be compared with interconnect agreements between cellphone operators, are the global norm.

Chief executive Rudi Jansen says open exchange is a very important step in creating an affordable, efficient internet market in South Africa. This would give consumers a better internet experience and break the stranglehold that a few large players currently have on the rest of the market.

The announcement comes in the wake of MWEB's uncapped ADSL data offer.

Jansen says South Africa has a poorly developed exchange infrastructure and most of the large internet access providers charge excessive fees to carry traffic to and from their networks. He blamed the high costs on past restrictive policy measures that allowed ISPs to charge prices that were much higher than the global norm.

This is also why it is cheaper to redirect traffic intended for South Africa internationally rather than locally. As a result growth in the industry has been slow, Jansen explains.

The more open and fair interconnection becomes, the more growth the industry will see as a consequence of increased competition – and both consumers and enterprises will benefit. The additional benefit of exchange agreements is an improvement to the quality of users' internet experience, if the agreement is correctly implemented.

Telkom's rental tariffs for the "last mile" – the line that connects consumers’ premises with their nearest exchange – still makes up the largest part of a user's interconnect charges. Until this network is thrown open, the extent to which individual ISPs can reduce internet costs to the market is limited.


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  • AJ - 2010-04-30 08:37

    A lot of SA business enterprise is about making money by creating barriers to charge levies' and tariffs etc for moving from one place to another (different domains, networks, layers etc). The focus is not on partnerships between companies to offer a better long term and cheaper product but rather by penalising customers little bits of amounts in numerous places. In other word trying to make the quick buck now than back yourself to create long term profit with some vision. These models employed by Business SA are short sighted and out of date. It shows the immaturity if business and also how closed minded our businesspeople are. They could learn a few lessons for sure.

  • Daantjie - 2010-04-30 09:20

    Common guys - wake up. In the US about ZAR210 buys 20MB down bandwith with unlimited traffic per month

  • Daantjie - 2010-04-30 09:22

    Common guys, wake up. In USA about ZAR220 buys you 20MB download bandwidth with unlimited use

  • Werner - 2010-04-30 09:47

    As if Telkom will give up or even significantly lower their "last mile" charge. AJ has hit the nail on the head. If a business can find a way to control something and then charge for it they will. On a very narrow minded level it makes sense. I have a 384kbps line with a 1GB cap from Telkom. All in all this is costing me a few bucks more than R300 a month. You'd think by now, given the technology available, that this would be the cost of a 4MB line. Internet in SA is still very much a (outdated?) luxuary.

  • Peter - 2010-04-30 11:12

    Thank Telkom and in other words the Government for ensuring that SA is falling further and further behind. F*&k Telkom. R280 pm just for line rental!!!

  • Hopeful - 2010-04-30 12:21

    M-Web has begun a process which will eventually lead to relatively cheap internet in SA. Just by offering an uncapped product, they've taken steps towards what has been the norm in most first world countries. And with competition being as it is in SA, other companies will soon catch on. But Telkom is going to have to come to the party. Things always happen slowly in SA, but it's coming.

  • TaxPayer - 2010-04-30 12:32

    ISP are preventing the poorest of the poor access to the internet and information. They should be thrown in jail !!!!

  • Jo - 2010-04-30 14:16

    Viva MWEB. I am cancelling my Telkom account and getting uncapped ADSL from MWEB. Now we just need some other company to provide the line...

  • ITBoff - 2010-04-30 15:07

    All of you need to catch a wake up. Don't blame Telkom ONLY for the poor so Called Broadband charges in RSA. Most of the comments seem to be praising Mweb for and I quote "UNCAPPED" ADSL. What does Mweb know that you dont? Well Plenty. They have jumped the wagon by trying to RE-SELL what will become freely available after the World Cup. If ISP's are trully commited to bringing Cheaper and Better Broadband services to South African's then they will have to setup their own Infrastructure and stop trying to Re-sell someone else's and then blame them for poor service delivery.

  • watcher - 2010-05-01 11:46

    This is simply a case of greed. It must be realised that such restriction of access - by cost - will result in slower development of the country. Just what are the ANC up to?

  • PRESHEN GOVENDER - 2010-05-03 13:34

    what do Telkom and Circumcision have in common?They are huge Rip-Offs

  • Bob - 2010-08-14 15:05

    Go MWEB. I have already switched to MWEB because they are serious about not ripping us off. Join me. I am with Virgin Mobile for the same reason. And as far as banking goes, I switched to Capitec bank this year and I love it. No ques and very low fees. If more people took the (little) time to change to cheaper companies, we would not be ripped off.

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