Telkom win ‘landmark’ case

Telkom won a battle of the communications giants on Wednesday when the Western Cape High Court ordered its rival Vodacom to stop piggy-backing on the state owned company’s infrastructure.

Telkom had initially refused to share its existing infrastructure — which included underground ducts‚ sleeves‚ manholes and copper cables – at the Dennegeur residential estate in Somerset West‚ Cape Town‚ with Vodacom.

Vodacom then came to an agreement with the estate’s home owners association to install fibre optic cable to the existing infrastructure without Telkom’s permission.

The installation provided service to 32 home owners at the estate‚ but Judge Vincent Saldanha found that the connection was illegal and ordered Vodacom to remove all of its cabling and equipment to restore

Telkom’s “undisturbed possession of its infrastructure”.

 Telkom spokesperson Gugulethu Maqetuka described the ruling as a “landmark”.

“Telkom is pleased that the court ruled in our favour and agreed that our infrastructure may not be accessed without following prescribed regulatory process‚” Maqetuka said.

“Our concern was that Vodacom unlawfully accessed Telkom’s duct infrastructure and we requested the court to order Vodacom to remove its cabling from our ducts.”

In his judgment Saldanha said that the underlying principle of the remedy was emphasised that “no one is allowed to take the law into their own hands and resort to ‘self help’”.

Saldanha also ordered that the HOA and Vodacom pay for all of Telkom’s legal costs.