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Zimbabwe ISPs under fire over data tariff adjustment

Zimbabwe ISPs under fire over data tariff adjustment

Zimbabwe ISPs have adjusted data tariffs to reflect new financial measures that ushered in a revised foreign currency exchange rate matrix, although payable tariffs in US Dollars have remained unchanged.

The country had rated its local currency at 1:1 against the US Dollar until February 2019. However, after the monetary policy statement, the exchange regime has been de-regulated with the current official exchange rate at around 2:9.

TelOne, Liquid and ZOL have informed subscribers of an increase in tariffs payable in local currency.

Liquid's notice reads: "Liquid Telecom Zimbabwe would like to advise you of a price alignment which will take effect from 5 April 2019. Pricing for all our products and services will remain unchanged from our existing US Dollar denominated base price... when payment is made using RTGS Dollars (local currency) the price will be converted at the rate of 2.5."

TelOne stated: "We further note and point out that our tariffs and charges are currently denominated in the US Dollar. With this observation, TelOne would like to advise that our tariffs and charges will remain unchanged in US Dollar terms ... we will however now have tariffs and charges indicated in RTGS Dollar as well," read the company's notification.

TelOne's residential broadband package under its basic offering, which costs US$15 for 10GB per month, has now been adjusted to RTGS$37.50 in local currency (previously RTGS$15).

The new tariffs for TelOne are effective 1 April 2019.

The move has sparked fierce response from disgruntled subscribers.

Tafadzwa Mashayamombe said via Twitter: "A normal government that cares for our civil servants was supposed to increase workers' salaries at the same rate. How are you expecting the government workers to survive?"

According to the Posts and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz), the country is home to 95 761 ADSL subscribers, approximately 40 000 FTTX internet users and 8.5 million mobile internet subscribers.

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