My Line seems slow must I purchase Unshaped access ?

Follow the below options first before deciding to switch to unshaped ADSL.

  1. Type of usage
  2. Have you fitted filters / splitters on all your phones / faxes / modems ?
  3. Have you tested your line speed ?
  4. Distance from an exchange and speed.
  • Type of usage
    • What type of access are you using ?.  Well if you are using your ADSL line for browsing websites /  checking email on the Internet many factors can affect the speed of browsing, location IE International / local, number of user access those websites, etc. However moving to Unshaped  ADSL access will not speed this up as web browsing / email is one of the prioritized protocols in shaped traffic and thus changing will not help. If you are a gamer and  plan on accessing gaming servers internationally then moving to unshaped ADSL access  will speed up this type of access.


  • Do you have Filters / Splitters installed on each phone ?  
    • Due to your ADSL and Telephone using the same line, each of these use different frequencies to send information across the line, to prevent each from affecting the other your phones / fax machines / dial-up modem need to be connected to the line through a filter/splitter. Every jack basically needs a filter installed where a phone is plugged in. This separates the two systems and prevents intermittent communications. THE ADSL Modem does not require a filter/splitter it can be plugged into the jack directly (See note below)
    • Obviously if you have a fax machine/modem the line goes from the jack to a fax machine/modem then from the fax/modem to a phone. In this case only one filter is required between the jack and the fax/modem/phone.
    • If you do not have a filter on every phone you will start to notice that your ADSL line slows down / stops every time you use your phone. You must install a filter/splitter in this case.
    • Note:- Some ADSL routers like the netgear routers provide a filter/splitter for the ADSL modem and phone, these are clearly marked "phone" and "modem" this basically offers lighting protection to the modem and filtering options on the phone. Telkoms current filters are only for telephone and come in either a single / dual connector for phones.


  • Have you tested your line speed ?
    • Test your line speed first before phoning Telkom as the slowness might not be caused by the ADSL System.
    • Click on this link Telkom Speed check  and click on the "click here" link in the middle of the page and select "Save"   and save this file to your desktop where you can delete it after the test has been done. This will download a file to your machine via ftp and will give you a good indication of your line speed to Telkom. In the window that opens you will see "Transfer rate: 38Kb/s" for example this indicates the current download speed from Telkoms ADSL system.
    • If you are on a CBS line this should be around 36-38Kb/s, on a  512kbs line (49Kb/s - 52Kb/s) and on a 1Mb-4Mb  line is Dependant on the actual line speed you are getting from Telkom  and would be around 100Kb/s per 1Mb on the line so a 4Mb line would give you around 400Kb/s.
    • Once you start the download this might spike up high beyond this figure and then stabilize after around 20 seconds, if the indicated speed is around the values indicated above then your line is working OK and the problem most likely something else, However if the speed starts high and continually drops below the indicated speeds as time progresses this indicates a problem and you need to report your line to Telkom so they can sort it out. Phone 0800 375 375 and log a fault.


  • Distance from the exchange
    • Dependant on the distance from the exchange can affect your ADSL performance, this is not so apparent when using a 384 / 512kbs line. But more prevalent when using the 1Mb line running higher speeds like 4Mb. Indications are if you reboot your router the line runs fine for a while and slowly starts to slow down over time / becomes intermittent. This can be due to the distance being too great between yourself and the exchange, Telkom can drop the line speed down and in doing this the line becomes stable.
    • Unfortunately the reality is that in some areas the lines are very bad and this is the only alternative to get a stable line. phone 0800 375375 and ask them to drop your speed on your ADSL profile to 2Mbs and they will ask you to reboot your router. If the problem goes away then leave it like this or ask them to move it up to 3Mbs and see if the problem arises again
    • Sometimes this does not help and I suggest reporting the line and asking them to do a special investigation on your line.
    • If the cable are really bad the only alternative is to ask Telkom for their ADSL Alternative WI MAX line which only runs at 512kbs  over microwave. The line rental is almost the same as ADSL 512kbs rental and you use a standard ADSL account.
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