ISPs

Safaricom Home Fibre – A Journey To Improvement

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In recent years, a good Wi-Fi connection has become pretty much a basic necessity. We use it for work, entertainment and most importantly, communication. Essentially, love Wi-Fi makes the world go round. Before 2014, getting a Wi-Fi connection was a luxury to most Kenyans until Safaricom launched fibre. Fast forward to 2018, they officially launched the Safaricom Home Fibre segment under the campaign “Feels Good to be Home” and sure to it, it felt good to be home.

Safaricom Home Fibre: The Revolution

Here’s where the revolution began. While everyone was complaining about Zuku’s reliability issues and JTL’s terrible customer service, early Safaricom customers were living the dream. Experiencing superb customer care, constant internet speeds and minimal downtimes.

However, all that glitters is not gold. The Internet Service Provider (ISP) went through a rather rough patch. Complaints started streaming in about unconventional downtimes, unreliable service and even worse speeds and poor bandwidth management.

However, as we came closer to the end of 2019, there seemed to be hope for the company yet. Users spoke of more stable connections and better bandwidth management. Safaricom was pulling up its socks.

Fast Foward 2020/21

Unfortunately, no one, including Safaricom, knew what would befall in 2020. However, that did not stop them from branching into different tactics to keep the customers happy.

Because of the pandemic, everyone had to stay home. With that came the need for more communication, work and school from home accessibilities and immense levels of entertainment. So Wi-Fi at home had to be fantastic.

Speaking to Charles Wanjohi, Director for Consumer Business at Safaricom, he explained what Safaricom had to go through and the decisions they had to make to accommodate the multitude of customers streaming in to use their service.

Luckily for them, they were able to make it work by doubling the bandwidth for users and increasing the manpower and facilities to cover everyone. Soon after, we drifted into 2021 where the company chose to make a few more changes by recently kicking off the ‘home inahappen‘ campaign.

They included the Fair Usage Policy (FUP) and an additional 250x speeds with their subscriptions. This includes their new silver package that offers 20 Mbps for KES 3999.

Package Speeds (Mbps) Price Fair usage limit Speeds after FUP (Mbps)
Bronze 8 2900 500 GB 1
Silver 20 3999 1000 GB 3
Gold 40 5999 1000 GB 3
Platinum 100 11999 1000 GB 3

The changes however raised a few concerns about how this would affect users going forward. However, most of them are misconceptions and here’s what they really mean.

Misconceptions

(FUP): 1000 GB is Too Little

In as much as there have been many complaints regarding how 1000 GB sounds like it could be too little, you’ll be surprised to realize that it’s quite 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.

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 at 120GB.

Mine reached 387 GB but that is because I game for at least 3-4 hrs a day on XBOX. Also, I have five phones and two laptops connected to the network. Additionally, thus far, I have not really seen anyone complain about crossing their monthly cap so it must be working well.

New Connection Fee is Expensive

Many think that the new fee of KES 3,000 for connection is money spent that you will never get back. However, that is quite the contrary. It’s actually redeemable. For you to redeem the fee, you will need to renew your Home Fibre package for 6 consecutive months after connection.

This means that KES 1,500 will be automatically loaded to your Home Fibre account after the 3rd consecutive renewal. The remaining KES 1,500 will be loaded upon the 6th consecutive renewal.

For example, for the Silver package, you will pay KES 2,499 to renew service in the 4th and 7th month. However, if you do not renew your subscription you will forfeit any unredeemed amount.

Simply put, it’s been a calm roller coaster for Safaricom and their Home Fibre service. The new hero package sits well with many users and since the announcement, I only note much fewer downtimes than I did before. It certainly looks like a step in the right direction.

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