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Safaricom’s Home Fibre no longer unlimited, users to buy “Bundles”

Starting March 2021, you will no longer enjoy unlimited home fibre connection.

Safaricom, through a new Fair Usage Policy (FUP) in its terms and conditions, will limit your home fibre usage. In other words, Safaricom has introduced “Bundles” as opposed to what users have been enjoying as unlimited home fibre connections.

Safaricom in their Home Fibre FAQs says that “A Fair Usage Policy (FUP) is put in place to govern usage and ensure network standards are maintained.”

The company further says their “Home Fibre plans are subject to FUP and once you hit the FUP threshold, your internet speeds will be throttled based on your selected plan.”

Well, Safaricom has remained silent on this contentious issue of capping usage for home fibre connection.

What has puzzled many users is the move to cap usage of an already shared fibre connection at the ratio of one connection for four users.

Simply put, Safaricom has killed the noble idea that the fibre inventor and technology enthusiasts have: achieve unmetred and ultra-super fast data connections.

For context, a single fibre connection can carry a bandwidth of up to 1Gbps (1000Mbps). Read that again. So, what is 5Mbps or 10Mbs or even the 100Mbps to a fibre connection?

FUP has been used world over to ensure users of networks experience the same benefits of the said network fairly. This, in a layman’s understanding means, if one person in the shared connection of four is straining the bandwith with heavy downloads, that person’s bandwith only should be reduced so that it does not affect others.

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But what Safaricom is doing is to put the four users per shared fibre link, and all its home fibre customers, in one bucket and condemn all as heavy users hence cap their usage, now to buy “bundles” instead of the ideal logical case per case basis.

The question arises, what is the need for a fibre connection then if literally, users will now buy “bundles”.

See below the new proposed packages by Safaricom and see why this move takes Kenyans back to the era of telephone wire / dial up internet connections, considering today’s data connection needs.

Fibre Packages speedsPrice (30 days)Fair Usage Limit
(After this amount of data,
speeds will be slowed down)
Speeds after Fair Usage
Bronze8MbpsKshs 2,900500GB1Mbps
Silver20MbpsKshs 3,9991000GB3Mbps
Gold40MbpsKshs 5,9991000GB3Mbps
Platinum100MbpsKshs 11,9991000GB3Mbps

From the above table, Safaricom does not recognise that a user who chooses to buy 100Mbps package shows characteristics of a heavy user. Someone who does not want buffering while streaming their favourite movie on Netflix in 4K quality.

4K stream uses about 7.2GB per hour. Therefore, with the 1000GB “Bundle” the user has only 138 hours or 5.75 days in a month to stream movies in 4K, otherwise after hitting the 1000GB threshold the connection will be slowed to 3Mbps.

This scenario has only considered that the user just uses a smart TV for streaming. Imagine, in an ideal family set up, the person has a Windows PC and several smartphones connected to the same network and constantly pulls updates and pushes backups of apps and data to the cloud on a daily basis.

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We are indeed living in interesting times when the biggest internet service provider on one hand entises users with double speeds, but stabs their backs with FUP that literally introduces “Bundles” to home fibre connections.

Safaricom, has not provided an alternative to users who want trully unlimited data for their home fibre connection.

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