Home User

The home user has various options of connecting to the Internet:

  • Analogue Dialup
  • ISDN Dialup (Single + Dual channel)
  • Analogue Leased Line

Analogue and ISDN Dialup:

The easiest way to connect to the Internet, is by dialing up into it. If you have a telephone line, a computer with a modem, and a need for information (or if you're just bored and want to surf around the wealth of information out there), you too can share in the Internet!

The way things work: 

A modem is a device that translates computer data into "noise" or sounds, sends it through a cable (in this case, your trusty telephone line) to another modem, which in turn translates the sounds back into computer data. Using a modem, you can connect one computer to another ANYWHERE in the world!

Now, instead of dialing the company in Taiwan, you would only dial a LOCAL call into one of the Posix POP's (Points of Presence - i.e. This is where you can access the Internet from!)

We connect up to various other ISP's, institutions, home users and more! So think about the Internet backbone as a country. You have various area's (or in South Africa's case "Provinces"). Each province has a capital. Each capital is connected to all it's surrounding cities via roads (some are new, some are old, others still, have no tar!). In the same way, each capital is connected to every other capital via roads. Each continent is connected to the rest of the world via airplane or sea-cruise routes.

The Internet model, looks pretty much the same as the physical one described above. Each company is connected to an ISP. Each ISP is connected to every other ISP. Where connections span continents or water, ISP's are connected via Satellite (with underwater sea-cables as backup).

Posix would be the road that connects everything together. So instead of flying off to Taiwan, or running up your phone bill connecting to them on an international call, you would typically only connect to Posix. We take things from there.

Using ISDN technology you could connect to the Internet at lightning fast speed, digitally. (Ask your friendly Telkom representative about what is available)

Dialup Costing:

Analogue R 85.50 per month incl. VAT
64k ISDN R171.00 per month incl. VAT
64k ISDN (Roam) R171.00 per month incl. VAT
128k ISDN R285.00 per month incl. VAT

Analogue Leased Line:

An analogue leased line is a permanent circuit that connects the client to Posix. This line is generally cheaper than Diginet or Martis (permanent digital circuits) due to its simplicity. With the simplicity comes a lack of speed. If the distance is short - modems can maintain a 33.6kbps connection. The longer the line - the poorer the connection.

This is old technology - but it still has its uses and can be very cost effective. You have three choices:

  • If both parties are in the same exchange area - ask for an outdoor extension. Telkom will then provide continuous copper from party one, to the exchange, then to party two. This is cheap - usually about R140 a month. It is possible to run baseboard modems on this type of link for speeds of up to 2Mb - if the copper is short (or thick) enough - however the only way to find out is to try. Sometimes, Telkom will allow a copper connection between exchanges - but the total copper run should be limited to about 8Km. 33K6 modems will usually run at 33K6.
  • If parties are within 100Km (over 100Km - there are cheaper options), you'll need to run via Telkom's MUX equipment. The MUX sits at the exchange. You connect into the exchange - they carry it to the far exchange - and then back out to the subscriber. This is old and ugly technology. Often, modems do not connect faster than 24Kb. Complaints to Telkom are met with "The line is only guaranteed to run at 9600 baud". You here terms like RATS (Remote Access Terminal equipment - how Telkom tests these lines), dry joints and padding the line. The cost of this type of connection is about R350 for a 10-20Km link.
  • The (New-ish) preferred alternative to above is to run over Digilog. This is a hybrid between Analogue and Diginet. Almost all circuits between exchanges are made over 64Kb lines, usually part of a 2Mb (or larger - 155Mb) circuit. A diginet box with an analogue port (ANTU) is provided at both ends. Your analogue modem plugs in - and you get a 33K6 link. The cost is usually less than half that of a diginet circuit - R600 within a 50km link. The line is managed as a diginet line - so up-time is much better than analogue. The line is in fact a Diginet line. Upgrading Digilog to Diginet is easy as swapping the ANTU to an NTU... Telkom just start billing you a higher tariff.

The reason for setting up a leased line, are a few fold:

  • To have a permanent Internet Connection (24x7).
  • To save on expensive Telkom costs.
  • To establish a fixed cost per month, instead of a fluctuating bill every month.
  • To avoid trouble due to the almost permanent use of your telephone line.

If you spend more than +-5 hours per day on the Internet, your telephone bill will most certainly sky-rocket. Installing a leased line can become very attractive.

What is needed, is the following:

  • A pair of matching 2-wire leased line modems (from approx. R 900 each)
  • A dedicated PC to act as a 'router' on your side (It is preferred to run Linux on this machine, due to it's stability, usability and cost-effective upgradability)
    Once those requirements are met, the Telco can be informed, and the line can be applied for.

This system can work not only for a home user, but a SOHO business as well. Let's say that you as client, have 4 PC's, and want to connect all 4 to the Internet An analogue leased line is the most cost-effective way of ensuring that you have 24/7 Internet access!!!

Analogue Leased line All Hours (first/one Machine) R 600
Per additional machine R 100
Unlimited machines on Network - All hours R1500

Telkom costs can be found at: www.telkom.co.za

The Telkom Tariff Calculator can be found here.


List of Points-Of-Presence (Pop's)