My interwebs has been borked for the past few days. Calls to my service provider have been met with the terrifying statement, “We are aware of the problem. Telkom is investigating”. To put this in context for non-South Africans: it’s a bit like hearing, “Don’t worry, we have our best baboon prepped and ready to perform your surgery.”

Telkom is the local parastatal phone company that has a virtual monopoly on the country’s physical telecommunications infrastructure – i.e. the wires and fibre-optic cables that connect us to the Series of Tubes. To say that they have a tarnished reputation would be an insult to tarnish everywhere. They manage to combine the worst elements of monolithic corporate inefficiency with the mindless stupidity of a government department.

Unfortunately, the wireless route is an even worse option. Mention the word “iBurst” in polite company and you are bound to see veins throbbing in rhythmic counterpoint to grinding teeth. They would probably have better success is they called themselves iFail, because then at least their customers wouldn’t make the mistake of hoping.

I digress.

If the South African government decides to jump on the “let’s cut off internet access” bandwagon (side bets, anyone?), it’s probably going to take us a while to notice.


35 thoughts on “404

    • If it makes you feel better, I did strip before I posted this entry (Incidentally, I’ve been blogging on and off since the start of 2005, but I only introduced the comic in September 2007).


  1. Well, I suppose I should quit whining about our blippy wireless then, shouldn’t I? Honestly, it’s giving me a complex as everytime I sit down to the damned thing, it goes out for a bit.

    Anyways, hope yours is back in service soon. Could it be the upheavals at the top of the continent causing your problems, do you think?


  2. It’s lucky you wrote “What? No comic?” in your subject labels as I thought the dodgy ‘net access had spread to my computer. ‘Parastatal’ is a new word for me, I had to look it up as I thought it had something to do with an intestinal mechanism.


  3. Ja nee. I feel your pain.

    We are just back in New York from Cape Town and and are practically licking our laptops we’re so happy to be back in the land of live Internet We nearly killed ourselves over the slow speeds.

    Currently surfing with a plan (via cable) of 10 Mbps (which is peaking right now at 15 Mbps) versus 384Kbps in Cape Town.



  4. It will have to be a three way fight because we have Telstra here in Oz. They’re good with fixing stuff. . they put little mobile gates up around holes in the ground and then leave them there for weeks. . . like that’s gonna help.


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