The quoted figure of over R 6,500 for a high end PC is not out of line compared to vendors such as Incredible Connection and others... however this is another solution.
If Telkom, who undoubtedly have the required staff, were to purchase components from a company such as Gazaz they could put together a computer of this spec for well under R 4500 and thus pass savings to their customers.
The long term challenge for the entire local industry is skills development. We need local intellect to design and produce telecoms equipment (add training, support costs etc) - cheaper. In that way, what we use to provide the telecoms services could be cheaper, and thus the prices charged could be cheaper. We need local intellect to design and develop innovative solutions to telecoms requirements. Local industry players need not use foreign consultants who charge exorbitant fees for their services. If we continue to import then we will continue to pay comparatively higher prices than say the US, UK, China and other developed nations.
Seeing as Telkom owns 50% of Vodacom that`s like Mussolini telling the French that Hitler`s not a bad guy. Well done! More share options for you!
We know that the cellphone networks are fixing things to keep prices high so look forward to hear what the competition commission thinks about their pricing as well!
I too was shocked by the response of Telkom to the ICASA report. Don`t get me wrong - I didn`t expect them to take it lying down, but their childish, bullying response to any threat to their status quo is getting a little tired.
As far as I can tell, Telkom`s arguments are:
1) The report was not released through official channels
I find it hard to believe that Telkom doesn`t regard the Government Gazette as an official channel.
2) ICASA & the complainants lack the knowledge about running a network to make such recommendations
Telkom was given ample opportunity to present their case at the hearings, but rather, they chose to claim that information about their operations was classified. If they were more transparent about the real costs of supplying a DSL service, then less assumptions would be made all round. Telkom was guilty of blatantly lying about whether it was them, or the ISPs that capped DSL account during the hearings, yet nothing is done about that.
Furthermore, I find it amusing that Telkom now wants to approach ICASA on in a friendly manner, after initially responding belligerently and with threats of cancelling the service altogether. Suddenly, after ICASA refused to back down, they now want to be friends? They really are a 2-faced bunch. I really can`t understand why this matter needs to be handled in private either. Do the public not have a right to know what is going on?
I think ICASA ultimately has the biggest ace up their sleeves though. If Telkom continue with their threats to cancel the service altogether, ICASA should have to power to reclaim the SAT3 undersea cable as a national asset, and put it in the hands of a consortium of ISPs to manage. Furthermore, unbundling of the local loop will allow ISPs to provide their own DSL service. Telkom is crying over the rattle at the moment, but ICASA could take away the rattle, the dummy and the teething ring if they are not careful.
When all is said and done, Telkom are a cancer on the economy of this country. They make exhorbitant profits at the expense of jobs, and yet have the cheek to claim that they are Proudly South African. They make enough money to provide DSL at the rates proposed by ICASA. It`s time they started bankrolling their own infrastructure and not passing the costs onto the consumer. I think all the years of getting their toys paid for by the taxpayer has left them with a misguided view of re-investment.
I am very proud of ICASA for standing their ground. May the mighty tyrant Telkom be tamed for once! That would be a great day in the history of South Africa.
Looking at the failure of the project in some of the schools, it seems to be a lack of service.
• Computers not working (assuming hardware/software failure)
• No internet access (ISP and telecoms required)
• Alarm cable cut (Security services required)
• No electricity (Electrical supply)
I believe that the private sector needs to be more involved in the education of our youth. These services can be sponsored by the private sector:
• Computer company provides education and system administration services
• Telecoms company provides ISP and/or telecoms (Unfortunately we don’t have too much option with telecoms, but I am sure that in association with the new wireless solution providers, a solution could be found.
• Security company provides systems and maintenance to security systems
• Power company to provide electricity solutions (We have heard of various electrical solutions in rural areas, namely the use of solar panels etc.)
Companies should be providing schools with required services. Schools should put together a list of basic services that are required and private companies should sponsor the various services required by the schools and inline with the company’s core business. The private companies therefore get the advertising exposure and schools get the required services.
Private companies should also provide part of the education. I would like to see private companies taking more of an active role in the teaching of scholars from at least high school. This would reduce the stress on teachers and provide real world examples and a different perspective on lessons for the scholars. Who hasn’t asked where you will use the parabolic graphs in the real world. Examples from the real world could provide better clarity for students.
At the same time, I think students should also be given more responsibility with regard to their education, especially with something like an IT lab. There are teenagers that are programming operating systems and making fortunes developing e-commerce sites. With genius such as this, the students are able to support their own labs surely. Of course, there will need to be some initial training and some leadership. I believe this is the task of the private sector. Once the students have been trained in basic computer maintenance, the students will be able to take care of the labs themselves (with the guidance of an active private company and their teachers).
The trick in this, I believe, is in ownership. The companies should take ownership of the project as a marketing opportunity. The students should take ownership of the project as a tool in their education. I believe that this would ensure a sustainable solution and solve the ever tight budgetary constraints.
Since Telkom is the major shareholder in Vodacom, I don`t think we can expect Mr Knott-Craig to be completely unbiased here.
In addition, ICASA has turned its gaze on the Vellphone networks, so Mr KC might be feeling a bit jumpy.
Telkom had plenty of opportunity to give this information at the ADSL hearings, they chose not to do so. Why should this matter, which is sqarely in the domain of public interest, be discussed behind closed doors?
I feel that they are now in a corner, and are unable to defend their position. If their reasons for high prices are so relevant, why not make them public?
ICASA`s report was the result of a PUBLIC hearing - any subsequent dealings/meetings between ICASA and TELKOM should be held in a transparent manner and all documents should be available for public scrutiny.
“Dominance in a competitive industry reflects excellence,” he said. “One who comes first should not be punished for doing well. If you abuse dominance, then you should be dealt with...
How on EARTH is Telkom in a competitive industry?!?! Or Vodacom for that matter. We have huge monopolies reporting massive profits. There is no competitive industry.
As a junior Project Administrator and having contacts with SMME`s, this type of information is very useful and important. I would like to thank you for valuable sources like these.
I`ve worked previously as a cashier, and I can understand services to customers as a very important aspect. I just wish that some people can sometime value services delivered, and actually mention this to the supplier. South Africa has got a low good service delivery rate, but value those who do deliver properly. That`s what I`ll appreciate.