05 November 2012

Telkom ADSL speed upgrades - manual prodding

Telkom has been long overdue in upgrading the entry-level DSL speeds in South Africa but thankfully, finally, the upgrades are here. Entry-level is now 1Mbps, up from a ghastly 384kbps (in 2012? You've got to be kidding me... even 1Mbps is ... well, let's just be grateful for the upgrade at all, shall we?).

 In my experience, I've had to manually request my lines to be upgraded once the exchange was upgraded, and here are the steps to follow. Note that this applies to 384kbps (up to 1Mbps) and 1Mbps (up to 2Mbps). A head-nod goes to HandyTechTipper (and in turn, Michal Mierzwa, for pointing out this strategy in the MyBroadBand forums).

Besides the obvious reason of wanting to get the higher speeds as soon as possible, you probably want to jump the queue just in case they end up oversubscribing the service and you end up without any available ports on the new exchange!

How to make sure you get your line speed upgrade

  1. Run a speed test on your line:http://speedtest.mybroadband.co.za/ or http://speedtest-rba.isdsl.net/
  2. Check that your line speed has increased at your exchange http://www.telkom.co.za/checkadsl by entering your telephone number
  3. Depending on the results, call 10210 (toll free from a Telkom land line)
  4. Go to the DSL technical guys
    (the prompts are as follows, in case you want to bulldoze the buttons and skip the voices and waiting)...
    1. 1 for existing customer
    2. Enter your 10 digit phone number
    3. 2 for more options
    4. 1 for DSL Technical support
    5. 3 for DSL Technical support
  5. Ask them to increase your line speed (you may have to explain to them that your exchange supports the high speed but your line is sync’ing at a lower speed)
    1. I've done this remotely, without being at home, and the first technician (or should I say, call centre agent) configured my line upgrade without me being at home to reset the router. That's all you need to do anyway; they 'flip a switch' and then you reset your router. This was done while I was at the shops and when I came home it was up at 1Mbps.
    2. Another incident occurred where the technician (ahem, call centre agent) insisted I need to be by the router when they do the upgrade because it can't be connected. I told them this wasn't necessary but they argued with me and eventually I had no choice but to relent (what do I know anyway, right? :)) and make sure the router was disconnected before they did the line speed upgrade. In this case they even had the audacity to check the connection was off before they ticked a checkbox. 
    3. The moral of the story is: rather do it from home if you can, and prepare yourself for some uncooperative agents!
  6. Check your speed again:http://speedtest.mybroadband.co.za/ or http://speedtest-rba.isdsl.net/
    (or go to the router console and check at what speed it is synchronising) 

I’ve gone up from 384kbps to 1Mbps ‘for free’ so I’m a happy camper.

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