Telkom group chief executive Sipho Maseko said Openserve had been considering changing the way it provided wholesale broadband over its copper and fibre infrastructure for some time. Photo: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters
Telkom group chief executive Sipho Maseko said Openserve had been considering changing the way it provided wholesale broadband over its copper and fibre infrastructure for some time. Photo: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

Telkom offers free access to Wikipedia, other knowledge enhancing sites

By Sizwe Dlamini Time of article published Mar 25, 2020

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CAPE TOWN – Telkom and the Competition Commission announced on Wednesday that they had reached an agreement that the introduction of a new aggregated wholesale solution removes concerns over the current IP Connect product.

Telkom and the Commission said, in order to enhance competition in the delivery of fixed broadband access, they had agreed that the new product suite to be offered by Telkom’s wholesale division, Openserve, would introduce transparency and remove any perceived competition problems associated with the provision of wholesale broadband connectivity.

Telkom group chief executive Sipho Maseko said Openserve had been considering changing the way it provided wholesale broadband over its copper and fibre infrastructure for some time.

“Telkom is pleased that following concerns identified during the data services market inquiry, we were able to reach this settlement with the Commission,” said Maseko.

He said during discussions with the commission it was agreed that the structure and initial pricing of this new offering from Openserve would reduce wholesale charges to internet service providers (ISPs) for fibre broadband wholesale customers and in this way remove the pricing concerns raised in respect of IP Connect.

Telkom said it was committed to assisting in narrowing the digital divide by offering zero rated access to essential government services and educational institutions, including the primary URLs of more than 60 universities and FET institutions.

It is also offering free access to other knowledge enhancing sites such as Wikipedia, Everything Science, Everything Maths and DBE Cloud.

The new Openserve offering, which is structured as an aggregated end-to-end solution, will allow ISPs to manage their costs and compare the Openserve fixed broadband prices with the prices of other wholesale broadband providers more easily, thus enhancing competition in the fixed broadband connectivity market.

“On the mobile front Telkom has always been committed to providing cost effective mobile solutions to its subscribers. There was, therefore, no need for the Commission to recommend that Telkom lower its prices when it concluded its Data Services Market Inquiry.

“In continually striving to ensure that citizens get the best value when purchasing data services, Telkom has agreed to improve transparency of pricing in line with the Inquiry recommendations.

“Telkom will notify its customers of the in-bundle effective rate per megabyte (ERMB) in its purchase confirmation messages to subscribers. Telkom will also notify subscribers of this rate via SMS when data bundles are successfully purchased,” reads a statement released on Wednesday.

BUSINESS REPORT

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