What is IPC and who owns it?

+3 votes
I don't understand what IPC is. I read about Telkom working on IPC, but doesn't IPC belong to Afrihost as part of your network? Why do you have to wait for Telkom to upgrade your IPC?

What exactly is an IPC, where is it and what does it do?
asked Dec 15, 2014 in ADSL by Zappa (550 points)

2 Answers

+1 vote
This question comes up a lot, and it's a little complex, but something definitely worth understanding.

IPC is a networking component which allows DSL traffic to break out of Telkom's DSL network and onto an ISP's private network (in our case, MTN's national fibre network). The IPC's are housed at data centres, so that they break out directly onto our network. We have three regional IPC's, in Johannesburg (North region), Cape Town (South) and Durban (East). Telkom owns the IPC hardware and everything leading up to the IPC, so they are the only ones allowed to do upgrades or maintenance to the IPC (and essentially ISP must rent the ISP from Telkom, kind of like you rent your Telkom line from them, even though it lives on your property).

Each regional IPC represents the closest point that a user can break out of Telkom's network, so it's important for an ISP to have sufficient IPC capacity in order to allow enough traffic at any given time for the number of clients they have or the amount of traffic - specific to each region. When ISP's refer to upgrading capacity, they are often referring to IPC upgrades, which are performed exclusively by Telkom. In our case, DSL traffic goes from the IPC directly onto our national fibre network.

There are probably more technical explanations (hopefully someone will do the honours here) but this is about the simplest way to understand how it all works :)
answered Dec 15, 2014 by AfriMan (14,640 points)
+1 vote

Long ago, before the iPhone, there was the iPC.  It's this little computer in a basement somewhere that handles all of the traffic for the whole country - not unlike the Atari, but updated since its initial release.  Being very very old, it is in need of upgrades all the time - things like memory, support for larger-capacity floppy disks, etc.  You can order your very own iPC from telkom here.  When the iPC is full, then iSP's need to buy it more memory chips, which are only manufactured in North Korea, and there are sanctions, so it takes a little while to get them in. smiley

answered Dec 17, 2014 by Bananaman (5,390 points)
edited Jan 12, 2017