Telkom may not be the most popular ISP in the country, but it does/did offer a service that many gamers loved. Do Gaming, its add-on for gamers, was an add-on package offered by Telkom which supplemented its soft capped ADSL subscriptions. Pay R49 a month, and gamers got uncapped, prioritised traffic to gaming services like Steam, Battle.net, PlayStation Network and Xbox Live.

The rest of Do Gaming, which covers the blog, forums and hosted game servers, will continue as before under a new brand, Telkom Gaming.

Unfortunately, to coincide with the launch of Telkom’s new online user portal, the service has been cancelled.

The reason for this, says Telkom, is that new consoles have made the product “unviable”.

The problem, it says, is that – as a rule – multiplayer games on newer consoles (Xbox One and PS4) don’t tend to be hosted on centralised servers in the same way as games of yore. Instead, the game is usually hosted on one player’s console – whether they know it or not.

And the problem for ISPs is that as a result, they can’t identify particular players’ IP addresses (which won’t be static anyway) with gaming traffic. Theoretically, Telkom could try deep packet inspection looking to Call of Duty data, but to be fair that’s probably not practical.

It was also mentioned that certain HTML content created by games was not being caught and covered by Do Gaming, and instead ate away at the soft caps of users. These included: “scoreboards, in-game videos, and other media which gets pushed from the game developers’ servers.”

We can’t help but wonder why Telkom didn’t just change the service to offer prioritised, unshaped traffic for all data on the connection, as other ISPs do.

//Updated 18/9

This story was corrected to clearly differentiate between the Do Gaming add-on and the Do Gaming service as a whole.