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No, Safaricom Was Not Being Simple, Transparent And Honest, Netizens Accuse Firm Of Dishonesty In The New Home Fiber Plan

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On 8th February, Safaricom PLC gave a Customer Notice ‘We are permanently increasing Home Fibre speeds effective 1st March 2021.’ The announcement meant that Home Fibre customers will get about double the bandwidth they have paid for, while Diamond Package customers will get more than double the speed at 250 per cent.

Under the adjusted packages, effective 1st March 2021, customers on the Gold and Diamond Packages will enjoy Secure Net service in their package.

The Bronze package which initially comprised of 5MBs at a monthly fee of Sh2,900 will now offer speeds of up to 8MBs at the same price.

Silver package customers who initially got 10MBs for Sh3,999 per month will now get 20MBs for the same price monthly.

Gold Package holders will get 40 MBs, up from 20MBs for Sh5,999 while Diamond Package customers will now get 100MBs, up from 40MBs for Sh11,999 monthly.

 

This gained positive reviews mostly from customers who’ve been complaining lately about slower Internet speeds.

However, this didn’t take long before the hawk eyes of IT gurus on Twitter unearthed what could be said to contradict Safaricom’s working motto of ‘Simple. Transparent. Honest.’

“Safaricom doubled internet speeds to hide that their fibre internet is now LIMITED!” One user Mavavya tweeted in the opening of a lengthy thread that broke down the dynamics. “Safaricom coming through with the nonsense.” Opined Eric Mugendi on the new home fiber plan.

While introducing the ‘Fair Usage Policy’ targeting many people who’re now working from home due to the COVID-19 challenges, Safaricom is not only doubling the speeds but doing away with the traditional UNLIMITED home fiber packages option that made the product popular in the first place.

Safaricom currently is the dominating fiber internet provider, its fibre coverage grew by 34.3% in 2020 to a cumulative 9000 km.

Under the reviewed packages prices, customers will pay as below.

So what’s the ‘Fair Usage Policy’ being introduced by Safaricom? “Ideally, ‘Fair Usage’ is an approach a company takes to ensure every customer gets to share a resource equally without others missing out. We’ve seen “fair usage policies” with limited resources like 4G connections where after a certain amount of data usage, your speeds are reduced to a certain level. That reduction in speed is an artificial restriction created by the company to limit a customer from accessing certain internet speeds, so that they do not strain the network and thereby hinder others from accessing the resource.” As defined by tech-ish.com.

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The major issue is about putting cap on data despite the attractive bundles. “This is extremely disappointing. Take away the double speeds. Return to the original speeds but DO NOT introduce data caps. That is BS.” One user commented.

But even this, there’s an explanation as one user replied, “The previous arrangement was tied to a “contention ratio of 4:1”. That means you share your connection with 3 other people. So, when all of you are online, speeds drop. But with FUP limits you get to enjoy your allocation at full speed with no contention ratio limits.”

He continued, “Using the example of 10mbps @3,999, under the contention ratio tier (4:1), you’re only guaranteed 2.5mbps throughout the month and not as you assume. Under the new FUP terms, you’re guaranteed 20mbps always for as long as you stay within the 1TB limit. Should you exhaust it, you get guaranteed 3mbps speeds, which is still much better than the contention ratio tier of 2.5mbps.”

However, the new policy has attracted different reactions from users.

Safaricom appears to have replied to the concerns about of many on their new policy suggesting that the new data caps are well within the average user’s data consumption.

This reply too has attracted harsh reactions from users who feel it is underwhelming.

There are those who also agree with Safaricom that the data bundles are well within the satisfaction range of an average user.

Obv, this is a topic of personal preferences that can go on and continues to be online. What you need to know is that the end of an holiday is here with Safaricom making changes in installations.

 

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According to the firm’s directives, effective 1st March, things will change further on home fiber in summary:

  1. There will be a fee of Kshs. 3,000.00 for a new connection. If you do not carry your router when relocating, you will be charged Kshs. 6,500 as a replacement fee for the router. This is however subject to change based on router models and technology.(Initially, signing up was free including installation).
  2. Customers will be allocated internet speeds with a 1:4 contention ratio. This means that in instances of heavy traffic causing congestion on the network, applicable speeds may be reduced to up to 25% of the advertised speed for the package.
  3. The Safaricom Home Fibre plans are subject to a Fair Usage Policy with usage limits and throttle speeds as indicated in the table above. Upon reaching the Fair Usage limit for the package, the speeds will be throttled to 1Mbps for Bronze plans and 3Mbps for Silver, Gold and Diamond plans for the remainder of the validity period of the subscription.
  4. The fair usage limit is a consumption limit assigned for each usage cycle and not a volume resource or bundle allocation hence it will not be possible to roll over or extend the validity of the fair usage limit beyond the package validity cycle. (You don’t deplete the data, it’s forfeited).


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