The well-known television commercial featuring Usain Bolt training with a young boy in an athletics stadium saw Telkom rapped over the knuckles once again by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) this week.

In the latest round in the telecommunications advertising war‚ Vodacom disputed the claim made by Telkom which states: “The next generation of fast is here. Get Telkom’s Boltspeed fibre on SA’s biggest and fastest fibre network.”


In its complaint‚ Vodacom said that it defines “coverage”‚ and hence “biggest”‚ in terms of geographic coverage‚ population coverage‚ and actual subscriber base.

“Telkom cannot claim to be the biggest unless it has comparative figures for all networks. The results from MyBroadband show that Telkom is not the fastest fibre network in South Africa‚” the complaint read.


Bolt speedThe complaint added that “the fibre network market is currently fragmented”‚ as it consists of numerous providers.

“It is therefore unlikely that Telkom would be in a position to offer the biggest fibre network in South Africa.”

In addition‚ Vodacom stated that Telkom Boltspeed Fibre is not even featured in the current MyBroadband Fibre Speed Test Rankings.

However Telkom argued that the use of the phrase “fibre network” considers a “constituent part of a wider broadband infrastructure network‚” indicating that it is something completely different from what can be understood by the term “fibre service”.

“The respondent submitted that it is common cause that the fastest access to the Internet is achieved through fibre networks. Fibre constitutes infrastructure which is capable of conveying data faster than any other format‚ i.e. fibre constitutes the fastest broadband network. If fibre is the fastest network‚ and if Telkom commands the largest fibre network in the country‚ Telkom’s fibre network is the biggest and fastest in South Africa‚” the report read.

Nevertheless‚ the Directorate concluded that it was not convinced by Telkom’s argument.

“Consumers will understand the claim “SA’s…fastest fibre network” to mean that of all the fibre networks in South Africa‚ Telkom’s is the fastest.

“There is no evidence to show that having the largest fibre network automatically means that it is also the fastest fibre network when compared to other fibre networks‚” the Directorate said.


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