Safaricom Owes an Explanation to its Customers for Inconsistent Home Fibre Services

Home Fibre

Home Fibre

I am a customer of Safaricom’s ever-growing Home Fibre product, which has, until to date, been hugely reliable. The service is insanely popular among its customers in Nairobi and Central Kenya for one key reason: reliability. Lately, however, the number of people who have been subject to poor service has grown, and according to the complaints seen on social media platforms, the issues surrounding Home Fibre are not isolated cases.

What happened to concurrent downloads and web sessions?

To begin with, I have a 10 Mbps subscription, which should serve me just for my undemanding tasks. Most of my media consumption happens online, which implies I hardly download huge files unless it is absolutely necessary. However, the ease of browsing and downloading files, large or otherwise appears to have been affected for some time now. Specifically, if you are saving a file from the internet, you are neither going to open any new tabs nor refresh existing ones seamlessly unless the download has completed.

I actually learned of this issue from a friend before putting it to test. It is true after running a number of tests for a couple of days. It should be noted that downloads hit their normal speeds based on my plan (about 1.5 MB/sec for 10 Mbps), but what is puzzling is why I cannot access other services as I used to in the past. A couple of other users have reported the same behaviour, which is a very worrying trend, to say the least.

Poor connection on multiple devices

This has been a concern for me for near two months now, and I even moved my router to a new spot expecting different results; the connection is still below par. For context, I do have less than five devices, sometimes three or less connected to the router at any given time. Of course, that is a small number, which should be fine because my connection can handle more devices without putting a strain on the available bandwidth. Well, I have had problems: say media is streaming on my television and my computer; I can’t perform the same action, say check a YouTube video or perform any other action on my phone without experiencing slow connections. This was never the case in the past. The issue is also related to the first case, where an action, say a download in once device affects the speed of the other. Not cool at all.

Frequent drops and generally slow speeds

On several occasions, users, some of who use their Home Fibre normally (browsing, YouTube, occasional streaming and so forth) have reported weak connections that last into days. That is unusual for a service that is associated with consistency, and the primary reason people subscribe to it is that Safaricom has made a name for itself by offering robust services. It is, therefore, a little disheartening when customers invest their funds and energy (I know a lot of people who have had to relocate to areas served by Home Fibre) only to be served by mediocre experiences that have since been relegated to competitors.

New developments

It should be noted that these painful experiences have only been identified by consumers. The telco has not said anything about it, nor has it announced any revisions regarding the product’s offerings in its terms and conditions. A little more honesty and communication go a long way in addressing most of the raised concerns, and the ordinary ‘send us your number for further assistance’ or ‘check your speeds using Ookla’ responses on Twitter do not help at all. In fact, what makes the affected groups angrier is the effect of the Financial Act 2018 that saw a significant jump in the fees set aside for their fibre needs (the telco is running giving users an 18% discount until Dec 12). The increase in monthly billing gives us the right to demand more from the Home Fibre team that has the ability to innovate and create a more favourable consumer climate when using the service.

We would love to hear your experiences in the comments section below.


  1. What you have just described actually means that the service lacks a contention ratio usually found in dedicated services, meaning that the bandwidth is shared which indicates that users are subjected to a “fair usage policy (FUP)” in which ISP’s don’t usually disclose unless you request them to. FUP happens not just in Safaricom but all other internet providers.

    • What he meant is that the service is not as per the policy stated in the agreement. Usually, when you download or browse, speeds are equally shared among all websites, downloads, and users. Since a month or 2 ago, what’s happened is that a download, regardless of size, will use up all bandwidth taking the internet offfline elsewhere. When i download an app in playstore, I can’t use the internet elsewhere (not slowed down, it’d completely go offline) until the download is done. Speeds are supposed to be shared… It doesn’t matter what fair usage policy is in place, that behaviour is not normal and should be fixed… I have switched to Zuku in the meantime (i get TV package bundled with it👍🏾)

  2. Customer care had the audacity to tell me to upgrade my subscription. I went back to Zuku with my tail between my legs. Incidentally, their service (Zuku) has gotten a lot better.

  3. They should not complain Bob said in an interview they (Safaricom) can’t afford unlimited data so what they are experiencing is called capping

    He has also said Safaricom has started recording fixed data as a separate revenue stream having reached 83,000 homes, while at the same time ruling out a possibility of a Safaricom unlimited data package.

    “It’s not economical. We can’t afford to do that. People who are doing that (unlimited data) have gone out of business and those who continue to do it will go out of business.”

    • Good. These criminals need to be punished for taking advantage of this poor communications company. How dare they use as much data as they want on an unlimited fibre product.

    • Good explanation, though I believe a considerable number of these guys here aren’t complaining about data capping nor fair usage policies. Rather, disinformation and withheld information.

      Think of it like an electric car. Suppose Elon Musk offered you a Tesla and told you “For 2,900/- a month Bronze package, you can drive anywhere you want in this EV. It’s batteries recharge with the solar panels on the roof, so trust its batteries, they’ll deliver. Now imagine the power when you select the Platinum battery pack at 11,499/- a month!”

      At first, you’ll want to go nuts and drive all over the place – Nakuru, Ole Polos, blah blah. But as soon as the excitement dies, you, a typical user, resorts to using your EV for a more mundane task: commute from point A to B. From home to work and back. Simple enough. No serious demand on the batteries, they’ll have plenty of time to auto recharge.

      Power users are those EV drivers that will drive from Nairobi to Kisumu, then on to Kampala, Bujumbura through Kigali, to Arusha and Dar, and end their EAC trip back in Nairobi via Mombasa. That’s when the batteries crack and fail to recharge. Without full power, you’re left driving on trickling direct solar power.

      From the above comments and article, normal service providers let you “crash and burn” when you finally exhaust your monthly data allocation and hit the fair usage policy/data cap – leaving you drive on a measly and weak direct solar power.

      All Safaricom users seem to start off from Nairobi at 5% battery power, 100% solar power charging. They already “crashed and burned” when they hopped on for their first trip. That stinks.

  4. Im Im glad to find out im not the only one. They made me look dumb saying i restart my device and their network is stellar. And i should upgrade my service. I had to move to zuku. And now to make matters worse , even the mobile data network at home is bad … Very slow yet i have giga bytes of bundles. Safaricom better fix and address the issue.

  5. I complained about them throttling torrent speeds when one is using 4g tethering and nobody took me seriously. Despite that bundles are limited, unlike fibre, the only way around was to use a vpn. Safaricom has gone back to the old days. Good thing the competition is not as bad as it used to.

  6. As for me safaricom have recently taken me through the losses of the year when I have bought bundles for 2gb one hour to download a 1.5gb+ file only for me to get 100kbps at most and ended up getting half of the file what a mess and I cant stream YouTube smoothly to date they should just admit there is a problem and look for a way to solve comeon safaricom be reliable at least for this time

  7. what safaricom modem lack is something called Q.O.S quality of service for such a site writing all this tech talks you ought to know about quality of service and w.m.m(wifi multimedia )…fibre doesn;t have any fair usage policy only cable and hardly on none existant in kenya, that’s why your upload is the same as download…safaricom MODEM ONLY LACK Q.O.S THAT’S WHY ONE DEVICE REQUESTING ALL THE BANDWITH CAN BRING A HALT TO YOUR INTERNET….THE BEST OPTION IS TO BRIDGE YOUR MODEM

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