South Africans Could Soon Pay Less for Fibre


According to Business Insider, South Africans who use fibre optic internet connections may soon be paying between R100 and R200 less every month for their internet services.

This comes after Telkom reportedly agreed to cut the prices it charges internet service providers (ISPs), a technology analyst said. Telkom and the Competition Commission had announced an agreement for a “substantial reduction” in the rates it charges ISPs.

The exact amount individuals will save depends on the decrease Telkom implements for its wholesale customers, including major ISPs such as Afrihost, Axxess, and MWeb.

According to the report, Telkom owns the largest fibre optic network in the country.

The decision is a direct result of the Competition Commission’s data services market inquiry report which had been published in December 2019. The report found that Telkom’s Openserve unit charged “excessive pricing” for ISPs to use its wholesale and ADSL network.  

Speaking to Business Insider, World Wide Worx technology research company’s Arthur Goldstuck, said consumers can expect monthly savings on their ADSL and fibre bills which can range between R100 and R200, but there is some uncertainty on the exact amount users will save. 

“Internet providers also often absorbed the high prices Telkom charged to help minimise the effect to consumers,” he said.

The Competition Commission has kept the exact amount Telkom charged ISPs confidential.

Goldstuck continued to say he has seen instances where Telkom charged up to R135 per MB/s, compared to competitors who charged below R10 per MB/s. 

“A couple of years ago Telkom was able to charge excessive fees for ISPs to use its copper network for ADSL, but this was basically killed off due to the limitations of copper and copper theft,” Goldstuck told Business Insider.

“We thought with the arrival of fibre we’d be freed of Telkom’s monopoly, but Telkom managed to develop the vastest fibre network in South Africa which forces ISP to still use it to reach consumers.” 

The Competition Commissions’ Tembinkosi Bonakele said the agreement will lead to lower prices for consumers, especially to small businesses who are increasingly reliant on fibre networks.