1. What is the difference between ADSL, ISDN and Diginet or leased line services?
ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) and VDSL (Very-high-bit-rate Digital Subscriber Line) is an
access medium that provides the user with a broadband connection to Telkom's data network. Services
offered over Telkom's DSL service are:
Fast ADSL (up to 2 Mbps)
Faster ADSL (up to 4 Mbps)
Fastest ADSL (up to 10 Mbps)
VDSL Elite (up to 20 Mbps)
VDSL Elite Plus (up to 40 Mbps)
DSL offers high speed, flat rated connection to an Internet Service Provider or used as an access medium
to Telkom Mobility that allows remote users to connect to their Virtual Private Networks (VPN's).
Telkom does not guarantee any throughput speeds on DSL access. DSL operates over the same pair of
copper wires that are used for a telephone service, and is provided only in conjunction with a landline
service. You can make and receive calls or send a fax and surf the Internet at the same time. You will not
be billed for your connection time when you make use of any of the Telkom DSL services.
The speeds in kbps are an indication at which the service syncs between the customer’s premises and
the Telkom exchange, and not an indication of the speed that you can expect to experience.
ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) is a switched dial-up connection that enables the user to dialup to any destination number within the network. A user can therefore access the Internet or a
videoconference. Telkom does not guarantee any throughput speeds if a user accesses the Internet
utilizing his or her ISDN line. You will be billed for your connection time when you make use of Telkom's
ISDN service to surf the Internet.
Diginet / leased line services
Diginet or leased line service is a dedicated point-to-point connection that provides the user with an
always on service. Diginet is based on carrier class Symmetrical Digital Subscriber Line technology that
provides guaranteed bandwidths between any predefined destinations. The customer determines the
transmission speed "throughput" of the Diginet services as they choose the appropriate speed with
application. There is no traffic congestion due to other users as it is used in a private network topology.
This also means that there is no sharing of bandwidth with other customers.
As Diginet is a constant bit-rate service it means that there is no slowdown of data transmission speed.
Although Telkom guarantees the Diginet throughput speed it does not guarantee any throughput speeds
of the Internet. When a user accesses the Internet utilizing his or her Diginet line the guaranteed
throughput stops once the data enters the Internet.
2. I am currently a dial-up subscriber and I would like to use DSL, can I use my current username and
password to access the Internet with DSL?
No, if you are either an analogue or ISDN dial-up subscriber, you will have to upgrade your service to an
Internet powered by DSL service to make use of the DSL Access line. A new username and password
may be assigned to you dependent on your Internet Service Provider (ISP).
3. Can I use my Internet powered by DSL username and password for analogue or ISDN dial-up?
It is dependent on your Internet Service Provider (ISP). Some ISP's do provide the functionality to access
the Internet via dial-up on analogue lines using your DSL username and Password, but unfortunately not
for ISDN.
4. What influences the download speed that I can expect with DSL?
Download speeds are affected by your PC performance, your access line, local network capacity,
congestion on connections to remote networks, remote networks, the remote server's access line and the
server performance.
As with dial-up and ISDN, DSL users share bandwidth on the Internet. Coupled with this, the performance
of international servers will also affect download speeds. Also, the fact that we are situated in South Africa
means that international bandwidth is purchased at a premium and is not unlimited.
Another limiting factor is the application you use your Internet connection for. This is explained in the next
5. What can I do to manage the amount of bandwidth I consume to obtain more and better use of
my DSL access service?
Usage behavior
Downloading large Downloading files like MP3, games and software
using software such as Napster.
On-Line Gaming
Minimizing usage
Refrain from using automated
download programs.
On-line gaming can average data transfer of between Limit the usage of data transfer when
10 - 60 MByte per hour.
playing games on line.
Email, Newsgroups and Chat clients are used to
Be careful when subscribing to sites
Mail / News Group / communicate online, however when files with suffix of which automatically send information
"avi", "jpeg", "mpeg", "gif", etc are sent they can
with large attachments. Be aware of
contain very large amounts of data.
"background" download programs
Customers who do not protect their equipment by
using a firewall or proxy server create a possibility for
remote access to the PC and by using various
Secure your PC by setting up a firewall
programs, determining username and passwords, the or proxy server.
PC can be used to transfer data via the owner's
Browser Use
Automated copying of website content can result in
Manually select the content that needs
high usage levels.
to be copied.
6. Where can I find local copies of popular files?
Telkom maintains mirrors of popular repositories at and On
you will find apple2, cygwin, freshrpms, gnuwin, Red Hat, and xfree86 files. Visit the SAIX entertainment
page for a list of other services and files including Apache, F-secure, CPAN, Linux, Open Office, RFC,
Simtelnet and Solaris.
7. What is the difference in Kilobit per second (kbps) with regard to the DSL access service upload
and download speed and Kilobyte per second (kBps) as indicated when I download files via the
Bandwidth is normally measured in Kilobit per second (e.g. Dial-up = 56 kbps, ISDN = 128 kbps and DSL
= 512 kbps). Applications like downloads in Windows will normally report speed in Kilobytes per second
You have eight Kilobits in one Kilobyte (8 kbps = 1 kBps) therefore if you download a file using Internet
Explorer, Windows will report a download speed of say 23 Kilobytes per second and this will translate to
184 Kilobits per second in bandwidth throughput obtained on your DSL access line.
8. What would I pay to convert from my existing service to DSL?
ADSL installation charge of R705.20 (incl VAT) will apply if a customer has an existing telephone service.
Alternatively, the customer can opt for the Self Install option which is Free-of-Charge.
If a customer with an ISDN2/2a line wants DSL and circumstances permit the provision thereof, the status
of the ISDN2/2a service will be converted to POTS (Post Paid Exchange line) plus DSL at the prescribed
charge of R412.68 (VAT incl).
9. What modems and devices do Telkom stock?
Telkom Home modem and devices
10. What is a Cap/SoftCap?
Remember that all Telkom Internet data limits is now SoftCap, please read more about our unique
capping policy called: What is SoftCap?
Your monthly data usage limit (cap) is the amount of data included in your internet plan, once you have
used that data, you will have to select one of the following:
Continuing using the internet at no extra cost but at a reduced speed.
Use top-up using your credit card or using post-paid billing up to a predefined data limit which will be
billed through your next monthly Telkom internet bill for the amount you exceed.
11. How can I find out what Broadband speed I am getting on my current DSL service?
We're always investing in technology to give you faster broadband speeds – even at peak times –
and we always give you the best broadband speed possible on your line. To do a speed test go to
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