Not too long ago, Safaricom came bearing gifts with regard to their home fibre products. The telco announced that effective 1st March 2021, customers would receive up to 250x faster speeds with their subscriptions. However, recent events term this as the calm before the storm. The storm in this case referring to their recent announcements regarding the Fair Usage Policy.
Safaricom Home Fibre Home Usage Policy
Simply put, upon reaching the Fair Usage limit for the package, the speeds will be slowed down significantly. That is, down to 1 Megabyte Per Second(Mbps) for Bronze plans and down to 3Mbps for Silver, Gold, and Diamond plans for the remainder of the validity period of the subscription.
For example, if you cross the 500GB usage limit on your bronze package on the 20th, for the remaining 10/11 days, you will be subjected to using only up to 1Mbps instead of the regular 20mbps.
|Fair usage limit
|Speeds after FUP (Mbps)
Why You Shouldn’t Be Worried
Almost all Safaricom Home Customers do not use more than 500 GB of data per month.
In as much as there have been many complaints regarding how 500 GB sounds like it could be too little, you’ll be surprised to realize that it’s very hard to reach and or cross that barrier. For instance, if you are on silver you’ll have to use 33GB daily to hit the limit for the month. That’s quite a lot. Even if you allocate that to 5 people in the house, it may be a little too much.
To put it into perspective, we checked with Safaricom to see how much we spent and neither of us passed the 400GB mark. Safaricom notes the average usage is capped at 120GB.
Mine reached highs of 387 GB but that is because I game for at least 3-4 hrs a day on XBOX and have five phones and two laptops connected to the network. Not to mention having a family with members acting like they are paid to finish every Netflix series.
As for Saruni, he hits highs of 229 GB. This is because his usage includes PS4 gaming, streaming on YouTube and Netflix. Include also a smart TV, two laptops and three phones connected to the network.
Here’s another heavy user’s data topping off at 314GB in 30 days (Oct 2020);
The only issue comes in for those who pay for higher speeds. Say for instance you pay for 20mbps, very rarely will you be able to watch 4K/8K content. However, for the users paying for 40Mbps or higher, they probably experience 4K on a daily. It might be an issue for them when it comes to the 1000GB cap.
how it works is the internet adapts to your speed. so if you streaming video at 8 mbps you barely get HD content. but if you on 40 mbps you get 4k. so two people may use internet different even though they waltched the same exact thing
— mavavya (@dexxe) February 14, 2021
The Fair Usage Policy is based on usage during the Double Bandwidth period
Safaricom says that FUP has been designed based on actual data usage. This means the operator checked how customers use the product, and then developed the policy around that pattern.
These limits were set when everyone was home and using their internet to the maximum. Should things get back to normal, very rarely will you hear that anyone is hitting these highs.
Why Safaricom Added This Clause
If most people can't reach their limit why introduce it in the first place?
— The Wordsmith (@Bob_Kipkoech) February 14, 2021
The main reason why Safaricom added this clause to the Home Fibre Product is to try and fend off resellers. What happens essentially is that a reseller gets a Safaricom Home connection then they get an industrial router and start distributing their bandwidth with more people. Now if Safaricom does not cap the limit, the reseller profits from Safaricom’s business.
It's a fair policy to crack down on resellers and business who may want to take advantage of cheap home packages
— Omayio K. Micah (@OmayioMicah) February 14, 2021
I hope this helps you understand a little bit more about this move from Safaricom. It is also important to note that, even other ISP’s like Zuku have their own Fair use Policy. You can check it out here and we can talk about this a little later.