Vodafone Ghana has explained the rationale for capping its fixed broadband internet service at GH¢65.00, saying the hitherto lower price and unlimited data service was not economically viable and does not give value for money.
Vodafone in June last year, revised its broadband fixed service, which was going for GH¢45.00 for an unlimited use of data per month and capped the price at GH¢65 in addition to limiting the amount of data usage to 15GB per month.
The new revamped fixed broadband service allows customers to choose from a range of internet bundles to suit their lifestyles.
In the past few months, the introduction of the “capping” has generated much debate from various categories of Vodafone fixed broadband users, some of which had staged demonstrations.
The debate, Vodafone believes had been fuelled by a number of claims from some customers, which range from lack of notification of these changes, abrupt disconnection without their consent and an unjustified price increase since there has been no improvement in the quality of service.
“Customers also feel that allocating an internet allowance for each bundle is unfair and has led to demands that the company revert back to their old packages, which charged according to internet speed rather than bandwidth consumed,” Vodafone said.
Clarifying the issue to journalists on Wednesday, Mr Tara Squire, Head of Consumer Marketing, said previously, business customers using the fixed broadband service subscribed to the residential bundles, which were specifically designed for home use.
Some consumers as well as businesses, he said, were accessing over a 750GB of data per month as compared to the 7GB consumed by a majority of the home use customers. “This distribution of bandwidth was unfair to the home user as it degraded their internet experience,” he added.
Providing further information on the new service, Mr Squire said that the new broadband bundles had been designed to suit every lifestyle including those, who require a lot of bandwidth for either business or personal consumption.
He said there is a fixed broadband package, which offers an unlimited service specifically designed for high data consumption and that some customers had hit back mainly because they insisted on continuing to access large bandwidths at the same price as other home users.
Mr Squire added that:“It is standard practice for ISPs to implement a fair usage system for their fixed broadband service.”
On whether Vodafone Ghana gave customers enough notification, he said, they were provided with adequate notice before the new development of the capping took place.
He said 30 days prior to the implementation, Vodafone took a number of steps to fully prepare and inform customers ahead of time. “Existing fixed broadband customers received text messages to inform them about the imminent revisions. This was followed up by a call to all customers giving specific details of the changes to their terms and conditions.
“Business customers were called personally to inform them of the changes. Those who did not want to be migrated onto the new business package were given the option to remain on the consumer package with the revised internet allowances,” he said.
Vodafone said customers who experienced an abrupt disconnection after the new internet packages were introduced had exhausted their internet allowance for the package they had subscribed to and needed to renew the package.