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What broadband users want: no bulls**t

What broadband users want: no bulls**t

Arthur Goldstuck, managing director of World Wide Worx says that South Africa’s telecoms industry is not listening to consumers on what they want in broadband services.

Speaking at the 8th annual Broadband Summit in Fourways on Tuesday (19 March), Goldstuck said that industry players, from government, through to Telkom, Internet Solutions, and MWeb were all guilty of providing complex offerings, when the consumer wants simplicity.

A spokesperson for the Department of Communications put the number of broadband offerings in SA at several hundred.

Goldstuck said that the country now boasts 500 times the capacity it had five years ago, but at the same time mobile broadband has grown from 3,500 connections in 2004, to 6.42 million in 2012.

He bemoaned the fact however, that the most reliable internet service in ADSL lines in SA has slowed down to a point of being flat. He said that since 2003, ADSL lines have grown from 157,000, to 875,000 in 2012.

“ADSL in terms of growth is coming to an end..the truth of the matter is that it’s not being sold particularly well, and there is only one provider,” Goldstuck said.

According to the internet guru, Internet users in SA are expected to reach 15.2 million in 2015, from 14 million in 2014, and 12.6 in 2013. He noted that number is conservative and it could be as much as two million more in 2015.

He also highlighted the growth of tablets in SA, to 788,000 by the end of September 2012, and surpassing a million by the end of last year.

In light of the growth of broadband demand, Goldstuck took it upon himself to compile a list of what broadband users want in South Africa.

Users want 10 things from broadband:

  • 1) Real broadband – not 256 kilobits per second – as defined by the DoC policy. “That is not real broadband – its 10 megabits per second minimum,” Goldstuck said.
  • 2) Honest broadband – According to Goldstuck, this is one of the dirty secrets of the industry. Players are selling consumers more than what they are getting.
  • 3) Cheap broadband – Goldstuck stressed that broadband isn’t just about what the wealthiest can afford….for the masses, broadband is still expensive.
  • 4) Reliable broadband – According to Goldstuck, it needs to work. “We have more than half a dozen cables linking us to the rest of the world. No major provider should get away with cables going down,” he said.
  • 5) Faster broadband – “We know the technology is there,” Goldstuck said, adding that it is difficult to see who is taking direction in policy. “Someone has to sign on the doted line somewhere.”
  • 6) No lock-in
  • 7) No entrance fee – According to Goldstuck, the entrance fee to ADSL is “hideous”. Its the single cost in telecoms that has increased every year for the past decade.
  • 8) No price increases – Goldstuck said he hoped not to see a turn around in provider’s recent data initiatives in terms of bringing prices down.
  • 9) No excuses – “We don’t want t dozen reasons why things cant be done,” the telecoms analyst said.
  • 10) No bulls**t – “That’s all we seem to be getting. The time for explaining away and covering up is over,” Goldstuck said.

More on broadband

Telkom losing grip on broadband market

Fixed-line Internet in decline

SA online economy at 2.5% of GDP by 2016

1GB per user per day for SA by 2020?

Gareth is the editor at BusinessTech. Gareth was previously the ICT Editor at BusinessLive/I-Net Bridge. Gareth holds a degree in Journalism from Rhodes University....
Join the Conversation
  • h3fty1

    I like this guy…. He seems to be a better suit to be the Minister of the DoC.. – Take Note DINA PULE!

  • upyourbum

    Not to take anything away from Goldstuck, but a drunken bergie on a 2-day binge would be better suited than cadre-deployed 6-million-for-my-boyfriend Pule.

  • Just like the cheapest ADSL ISP, mobile networks here are hopelessly oversubscribed despite this country being the most expensive provider of cellular communication. Living in a highly developed commercially active area in Gauteng, I seldom manage to even get a 3G or HSDA signal from MTN, let alone 7Mbps+ transfer rates!

    • Kieran Murphy

      “most expensive provider of cellular communication”

      Nope. Try that one again.

  • Angruuser

    Shortly speaking, Hellkom should be completely gov. company with cheapest ADSL price. And only after that we can expect normal price for final user. And f**ck this CAPs! Cannot see greedy idiots ISPs!

  • I don’t understand all these industry players all shouting for cheaper broadband & criticizing their competition. They should instead use these indaba’s to come up with real solutions to the cable theft and last mile infrastructure cost for ADSL. They all buls**ters playing the blame game while reaping the benefits! Just like the banks!

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