MetroFibre is increasing the prices it charges Internet service providers (ISPs) for a 50Mbps fibre line in June 2023 and also plans to hike pricing on its 100Mbps package during the year.
MyBroadband learnt of the 50Mbps price increase through an email sent to Webafrica and Afrihost customers, informing them of changes to their MetroFibre packages.
Due to a price hike by MetroFibre, Webafrica said that it was forced to increase the price of the 50/50Mbps package by R100 — from R699 to R799 — effective from 1 March 2023.
The Afrihost customer was also told the price of his 50Mbps package would increase by R100 — from R697 to R797 — for the same reason.
However, Afrihost’s price hike will only take effect from 1 June 2023, correlating with MetroFibre’s increase.
Webafrica gave the customer the option to either migrate to a 20/20Mbps package and keep paying his current price of R699, or to keep his speed but pay R100 more per month.
What’s strange about this change was that Webafrica made no mention of MetroFibre adjusting the price of its 20Mbps line, while this package was priced at R150 less than the old 50Mbps price.
That implied that Webafrica also increased the price of its entry-level 20Mbps package on MetroFibre’s network — by a whopping 27%.
MetroFibre confirmed the price increase on its network for 50Mbps to MyBroadband, but said it would only take effect from 1 June 2023, three months after Webafrica’s price increase.
It also said the cost to ISPs for this package was only increased by R50, half of the hike that Webafrica and Afrihost had implemented.
Webafrica told MyBroadband that MetroFibre had increased the price of the 50Mbps package by a “bit more than 10%” in cost to the ISP.
Based on the old R599 price, Webafrica would have to charge R59 more to maintain the same profit margin on that package.
The ISP said that the R50 figure provided by MetroFibre excluded VAT and was closer to R60, correlating with Webafrica’s claim of a 10% increase.
When asked why it had increased the price by R100 and bumped up the price of the 20Mbps package, Webafrica acknowledged it had to pass an additional blanket increase to all its customers.
It blamed rising inflation, exacerbated by ongoing load-shedding and a weakening of the rand, for the overall price hike.
It also said that MetroFibre had confirmed it would hike the price of its 100Mbps package later in the year.
MetroFibre told MyBroadband it was relooking all of its packages in line with growing demand for higher speeds and data consumption.
“More announcements will follow in due course,” the operator stated.
MetroFibre punts speed increases but stays mum on price hike
News of the hikes comes shortly after MetroFibre confirmed a free speed double-up for 200Mbps customers, price cuts on its 500Mbps from 1 February 2023, and a significant reduction in 1Gbps prices from 1 March 2023.
In addition, it is offering a free increase to 400Mbps for 50Mbps and 100Mbps customers between 1 February 2023 and 31 May 2023.
According to Webafrica, ISPs received communication of those changes on 1 December 2022, while the announcement of the 50Mbps and 100Mbps price increases was sent on 31 January 2023.
MetroFibre was forthcoming about its price cuts when MyBroadband asked about them earlier this week but did not reveal any information on the 50Mbps price increase.
Unlike Webafrica, Afrihost said the 50Mbps package would be the only one getting a price hike.
Webafrica is yet to confirm changes in pricing for its MetroFibre 200Mbps, 500Mbps, and 1Gbps packages.
The table below shows the old and new prices of Afrihost and Webafrica’s entry-level MetroFibre packages.
|MetroFibre FTTH packages