Telkom may face new competition complaint

Mweb has threatened to take Telkom to the Competition Commission if the fixed-line operator does not significantly reduce its wholesale IP Connect charges.

The statement came out in the announcement that the data speeds of the ISP’s “Standard Uncapped Shaped ADSL” and “Business Basic” products will be increased at no additional cost to customers.

This follows Telkom’s move to start upgrading its existing ADSL customers to higher line speeds from early November 2013.

The line speed upgrades are being performed free of charge, meaning that ADSL subscribers will benefit from higher access speeds without price increases; however, many ISPs, including Mweb, have taken issue with a resulting increase in data costs.

Mweb has indicated that it is unable to make changes to its premium uncapped shaped and unshaped products until Telkom reduces its charges for IPC.

“Whilst we welcome Telkom’s initiative to double the access line speeds at no extra costs to the end-user, ISP’s cannot be expected to absorb the costs of a corresponding increase in data products,” said Derek Hershaw, CEO of Mweb ISP.

“We are currently in discussions with Telkom around a significant reduction in their wholesale IPC charges,” he said.

“If these are not immediately forthcoming we will be referring the matter to the Competition Commission, asking them to intervene as a matter of urgency and force the issue. We can then pass on the full benefits of the line speed upgrades to all of our customers.”

Mweb announced that, along with its free upgrades, it will also introduce a 6Mbps product and reduce the price of its 10Mbps and 20Mbps standard uncapped products.

A number of Mweb’s Uncapped ADSL products will be automatically migrated early next year.

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Telkom may face new competition complaint