Why Octotel changed its fibre-to-the-home packages

Octotel informed Internet service providers in July that it would introduce significant changes to its wholesale fibre-to-the-home product portfolio.

It will be completely restructuring the wholesale costs and available line speeds on its network.

The changes are set to kick in on 1 September 2020 and may be summarised as follows:

  • All lines except the 1Gbps fibre line will become symmetrical — download and upload speeds will be equal.
  • Entry-level fibre lines will change from 10/5Mbps to 15/15Mbps.
  • The 20/5Mbps and 20/20Mbps lines will change to 30/30Mbps.

Comparisons of the old and new prices from several ISPs show that most Octotel fibre-to-the-home subscribers will be paying more every month unless they are able to downgrade.

However, a value comparison from RSAWEB also showed that subscribers will be getting more speed for the money they spend. In other words, subscribers will generally be paying less per Mbps, depending on the broadband package they have.

Tables showing these comparisons are included at the end of the article. It should be noted that each Internet service provider has its own set of prices for offering services on a given fibre network. Therefore such price comparisons will differ depending on the ISP.

Why Octotel overhauled its services

When asked about the changes to their wholesale pricing and package structures, Octotel COO Scott Cunningham told MyBroadband that their September 2020 price adjustment was carefully considered.

“Octotel took a long term view in terms of the value proposition and decided to upgrade the speed profiles permanently alongside the price change,” stated Cunningham.

Cunningham said that the increased demand for upload speeds, as well as the 10Mbps service, no longer meeting the expectations of an entry-level broadband service, were factors in the decision-making process.

“This ultimately ensures you’re getting the best possible experience from your fibre,” he said.

When asked specifically about why most of the major fibre network operators have implemented price increases in 2020, Cunningham explained that, unfortunately, the cost of building and running fibre networks has increased substantially.

“The delivery of a quality fibre network has many input costs that are unfortunately linked to areas of the economy that regularly experience price escalation,” said Cunningham.

“These being construction costs, labour-related costs, as well as increasing supplier costs.”

Cunningham said that pricing is negotiated aggressively every year, and at times Octotel is in a position to defer these price adjustments until a later date, but this is not always possible.

“Due to this approach, Octotel has only had two price adjustments since January 2016 and is still one of the most competitive fibre network providers in the market.”

Octotel fibre price comparison – Atomic Access and RSAWEB

The following table show how Internet service providers Atomic Access and RSAWEB have implemented Octotel’s wholesale product changes.

Positive numbers in the “Price change” column indicate a price increase.

Negative numbers in the “Savings per megabit” column indicate a decline in value in terms of the bandwidth you get for the money you spend.

All Octotel packages are uncapped and unshaped.

Changes to RSAWEB’s Octotel packages
Old Package Speed (Download / Upload) Old Package Price New Package Speed (Download / Upload) New Package Price Price change Savings per Megabit (Download / Upload)
10Mbps/5Mbps R575 15Mbps/15Mbps R695 21% R11.17 / R68.67
10Mbps/10Mbps R675 15Mbps/15Mbps R695 3% R21.17 / R21.17
20Mbps/5Mbps R745 30Mbps/30Mbps R895 20% R7.42 / R119.17
20Mbps/20Mbps R845 30Mbps/30Mbps R895 6% R12.42 / R12.42
100Mbps/25Mbps R995 100Mbps/100Mbps R1,085 9% -R0.90 / R28.95
100Mbps/100Mbps R1,115 100Mbps/100Mbps R1,085 -3% R0.30 / R0.30
200Mbps/25Mbps R1,195 200Mbps/200Mbps R1,245 4% -R0.25 / R41.58
200Mbps/200Mbps R1,245 200Mbps/200Mbps R1,245 0% No Change
1000Mbps/100Mbps R1,395 1000Mbps/100Mbps R1,495 7% -R0.10 / -R1.00
Changes to Atomic Access’ Octotel packages
Old Package Speed (Download / Upload) Old Package Price New Package Speed (Download / Upload) New Package Price Price change Savings per Megabit (Download / Upload)
10Mbps/5Mbps R669 15Mbps/15Mbps R749 12% R16.97 / R83.87
10Mbps/10Mbps R749 15Mbps/15Mbps R749 0% R24.97 / R 24.97
20Mbps/5Mbps R799 30Mbps/30Mbps R929 16% R8.98 / R128.83
20Mbps/20Mbps R899 30Mbps/30Mbps R929 3% R13.98 / R13.98
100Mbps/25Mbps R989 100Mbps/100Mbps R1,099 11% -R1.10 / R28.57
100Mbps/100Mbps R1,199 100Mbps/100Mbps R1,099 -8% R1.00 / R1.00
200Mbps/25Mbps R1,359 200Mbps/200Mbps R1,399 3% -R0.20 / R47.37
200Mbps/200Mbps R1,499 200Mbps/200Mbps R1,399 -7% R0.50 / R0.50
1000Mbps/100Mbps R1,699 1000Mbps/100Mbps R1,749 3% -R0.05 / – R0.50

Now read: Here is why fibre is getting more expensive in South Africa

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Why Octotel changed its fibre-to-the-home packages