IkamvaYouth had planned a protest march because of Telkom's poor service and long delays in connecting their Library's computer lab in Khayelitsha. They have been trying to get an ADSL line installed since March 2007. They paid a deposit in May. Since May Telkom have indicated that it would install the line during the following month, every month, until September. Telkom then changed their minds and could not install because there was "no infrastructure" in the area.
This is unacceptable. The lab is widely used by IkamvaYouth's learners and volunteers, other learners from surrounding schools, and community members (including small business owners, students from tertiary institutions, job applicants, community-based organisations and writers) – all of whom have been patiently waiting to be connected to the world wide web.
A 3G connection also did not work.
On Thursday I contacted the library and asked if they would be interested in an Amobia connection. I submitted a site survey request, which happened on the Friday afternoon.
The installation was completed this afternoon (Tuesday). Their wireless CPE is configured and the link is up. Their CPE is connected to the SchoolWAN VPN server.
A Telkom install team also (finally) showed up at the library today to install the ADSL line. According to Joy (who organised the protest).. they showed up because of all the bad publicity Telkom was getting. I'm not sure if they managed to complete their install. Let's assume they did.
Telkom took about 6 months. Amobia took 3 business days.
Did I mention the Amobia link is free as part of the SchoolWAN project?
Frogfoot has agreed to sponsor 3GB of Internet traffic per month to get them started. SchoolWAN is looking for sponsorship of more Internet access for the schools.
I suspect the protest march is still going to happen, I think they are still cheesed-off about waiting 6 months... I would have been. It's planned for Friday the 12th at 14:30.
UPDATE: It was just another Telkom survey, they could not install the ADSL line. So Telkom are taking 6 months.. and counting..