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Cool Shit: Telkom FTTH

I am very busy today trying to co-ordinate everything. The Telkom guys are here (exactly when they said they would be) and have started running my fibre.

If anyone has any questions, direct them to me on twitter and I’ll try and answer them or get an answer from the installers.

I will run speed tests and traceroutes when it is all up and running. That will make a much better post than this one!


The fibre feeder box at the end of the building.


Running the fibre about 40m to my apartment.


The fibre has reached my balcony!


They are checking for a possible break in the fibre due to the long run. Holding thumbs that there isn’t one!


The little red light below means no break!


This is what they install on the wall inside your property. It is a passive box, just an end point for the fibre. The black cable is the fibre from outside and the yellow cable goes to the fibre router.



Next step is splicing the fibre on the other end….


I am the first one in my building so my strand is the only one going into their box currently.

Update 2

Everything is connected up. Last step is activation and the guy at the exchange is on lunch! There had to be one speed bump and this is it!

For those of you interested in the setup, there is the “Alcatel-Lucent” fibre modem that effectively gets “sync” on the fibre. Then there is the Huawei router that is just acting as an ethernet WAN router (through LAN port 4) and that simply makes the PPPOE connection.


When the “OPTICAL” light turns green, the fibre has been activated. The “Internet” light on the Huawei router should also turn green. From what the installers said, you should be able to use any ethernet WAN router that can dial a PPPOE connection.IMG_7390

I don’t know if ports 2, 3 and, 4 on the fibre router are locked down. I’ll have to wait until it is activated to check. I didn’t get a voice line with my fibre but if I had I assume they would connect to those two telephone ports.

If you have any questions or requested tests, please feel free to contact me on Twitter or comment below.

Update 3


We have activation!

The most requested test so far has obviously been speed test results so here you go:

4372581608 4372582871

I’ll do some real world tests tonight and update with what I can. Will do traceroutes and things like that. Feel free to request any tests and I’ll give them a go.

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 08.15.12

This was on the Telkom guest account. Looks like this should work pretty well. Will see how much I can download during my nightsurfer hours!

Update 4

Some international speed tests. Seems like it has very good performance!


First one to London


And to New York.

I’m very happy with the overall performance of this product!



  1. Did you have to request this fibre product or did they just roll it out in your area and connect you up?
    Do you mind if I ask how much you pay for a 20Mb fibre?

    • A bit of both, the technician told me I could order it when I complained about the slow ADSL in the area. From there I had to apply for it. It is R999 a month with a 50GB cap. Not cheap but definitely very awesome!

  2. I have ordered Telkom FTTH, 40MBps. Now I wait. They SMS’d me a Username and Password. Wondering whether thats it or wait for a call from a technician? Also I see you have a special modem for Fibre, do they bring this with the installation?

    • Yes, they bring everything will the installation. Wait for a call from the technician. They’re pretty good so hopefully it shouldn’t take them too long. Good luck and enjoy!

  3. Hey, I’ve had some troubles with mine. How do you access the firmware on the Alcatel-Lucent router? Can’t find any documentation on it, super weird…

    • Byron Tudhope

      12th October 2015 at 09:11

      From what I understand that is a “Telkom Managed” box so you shouldn’t have access to that. I tried to get in but couldn’t. They’ve also locked up most of the LAN ports so that you can only use one. I’d take it back to them and ask them to swap it out if that is the issue. Are you on WebAfrica Fibre?

  4. Thanks, this is really helpful.

  5. I agreed to the 2 months FREE? trial for FTTH in Durban and opted not to carry on with it.
    I was advised that I could go back my pre-trial status and chose to do that.
    I was advised that I could keep the fibre connection.
    Since then I have been charged over R2000-00 per month though over the next 4 months I have had many credits but I am now paying for things like fibre contract fees and more that equate to about R200-00 more than my pre-trial copper connection. They won’t let me go back to copper. I then asked to cancel my ADSL and downgrade to phone only at the R132-00 per month pensioner rate. I was charged a contract forfeit penalty even after I had been using ADSL 10GB for about 10 years. I disputed the penalty and got a credit and now my bill includes 10GB data that does not work and I don’t want it as I use a Telkom Lte wi-fi data feed.

    I am very close to cancelling my land line altogether because since I have been locked into a fibre phone I have had 7 hrs of power outages and no phone. The fibre phone requires a household power connection because it can’t get power out of a hollow glass tube. The old copper connection worked when Eskom was load shedding.
    Telkom recommended that I don’t cut the fibre cable.

    Net result is that a mobile voice phone plus an Lte wi-fi data feed is a better solution than fibre.

    • Byron Tudhope

      2nd August 2016 at 12:06

      I think Telkom’s biggest problem is communication. The whole point of the free trial is to migrate people to fibre as it is a more reliable and stable technology. In essence, it is no different to the ADSL you had. When you opted to revert back, you should have stayed on the fibre and reverted to your old charges and had the fibre speed lowered to match your old bill.

      If you dig through the deals, you’ll actually find that fibre is cheaper than ADSL. I hope you come right in dealing with the Telkom billing. That seems to be where their service lacks the most. I’ve disputed many things and I have always been refunded, just sometimes months later.

      Fibre is the best possible connection you can be on. It is the fastest, cheapest, most reliable connection. In the long run, it’ll beat LTE + mobile phone.

      • Byron, thanks for the positive response.
        My August account does seem to include enough credits to bring me back to square.
        Without going into too much detail I have been told by my local Telkom shop that I can reconnect to my copper connection and simply ask for it to be reactivated. I tried doing so and but got no result. The manager at the shop advised that once on fibre there is no going back. One issue is that fibre only permits a single household phone. I have always had a “Vintage 20” Telkom phone near the front door that is load enough to hear throughout the house and a second phone in the study that is nowhere as loud but has caller ID if we miss getting to it in time.

        In my effort to manually reconnect back to copper I failed to note what cable went where for fibre. I have killed access to fibre data though my iPad and cell phones default to Telkom fibre and not to my Lte wifi that is as fast as fibre .
        You are 100% right suggesting that communication wrt reverting back to previous status (copper?) was vague. To the best of my knowledge if a contract is vague it can be declared void and then the status prior to the contract must adopted as best as possible. In this case Telkom could reconnect copper but choose not to.

        To avoid unexpected penalties I will sit on the fence for another 18 months and reassess closing my land line. I rarel log more than R15-00 a month on tlephone usage as my mobile phone (Telkom) gives me more minutes than I can use. As such I am not totally negative towards Telkom.
        Please accept that I am of an age that I also need to manage my anger when things are not as simple as they could have been.

    • I have same problem with Telkom, they don’t seem to care if they don’t get it right, so I will never use Telkom again if I have an alternative – thanks to Vumatel.

  6. Thanks for the good quality pictures and explanations. Has been very useful.

  7. His article is very helpful. Thank you
    How long did the installation at home take? And could you schedule a time with the technicians?

    • Byron Tudhope

      7th November 2016 at 09:29

      Hi, installation took two days as I was one of the first in the area. It is down to about half a day now. You can schedule a day with the technicians, but not a time.

  8. Thanks Byron! very very helpful and useful indeed 🙂 btw, have your international speedtests remained so good?

  9. Hi,
    Wanted to know if your alcatel Telkom managed box that you have no access to has remain standard, or are they sending out a new fibre enabled wifi modem with their installations?

  10. Byron did you specify where you wanted the fibre box to be? or did they decide where the best spot would be in your house? or did you show them where you want it to be?

  11. Thank you for the great report. Did you try the remaining LAN ports please?

  12. Thanks for your well illustratarticle. You say the Huawei modem is crap, why is that?

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