I have had my fair share of issues with Safaricom’s Home Fibre product for some time now. This post, however, is not based on jabs or anything (story or another day), but rather a discovery we found out in the product’s smartphone app.
In most cases, people buy a particular plan based on their usage patterns, or how fast they want their internet to be. In some cases, it is a balance between affordability and a good experience, which was the case with Home Fibre at the time it set out to conquer the market.
The Home Fibre app explains what you will get, but since we are not known for detail, the fine print may not be visible for most. So, without further explanation, let’s get into it.
Bronze at 5 Mbps
This is the cheapest and most popular plan offered by the Home Fibre team. It costs KES 2900 (up from 2500 before the arrival of the Financial Act 2018). Its description reads as follows:
Enjoy basic access to email, web browsing, access to social media, standard definition movies and music downloads at the right price!
This implies that you will get access to essential internet services, but nothing more than that. You can download files (on a single device) or stream YouTube videos, but at standard resolution (less than HD quality), implying that the luxuries of FullHD content available on multiple video-on-demand services are a no-go zone. However, if you access the net casually, and simply want the comfort of occasional stints on social media platforms and browsing, you will be just fine. Just know that you will be unconnected once a device is doing a download on the other end.
Silver at 10 Mbps
This is my jam and is popular among people of my age who do not align with the shortcomings of Bronze. The plan’s description reads as follows:
Opens you to a world of unlimited Internet that offers media streaming on your favourite sites for an amazing value.
The value highlighted above is hardly available anymore as the product costs KES 4000 up from KES 3500. We have addressed how Silver works before: it will dedicate bandwidth to downloads (you will not access other services in the meantime), although speeds are reliable. Streaming services work just fine, and YouTube can be cranked up to 2K, although it is a little choppy.
Generally speaking, 4K is a lot of money for a plan that can’t allow 4K streaming and multiple downloads (it used to be seamless three or four months ago). What changed?
Gold at 20 Mbps
If you thought seamless 4K streaming would work on a package that costs KES 5700, you are wrong. Tens of users have reported that 4K access is only possible at 23 Mbps and up, meaning they can only opt for Platinum to satisfy their crispy needs. Nevertheless, Gold’s description reads as follows:
Keep your family entertained through HD TV programming, streaming and downloading on multiple devices.
Apparently, if you need to perform multiple downloads, you must sign up for Gold and up. If you need to stream Showmax’s bingeable titles on multiple devices, Silver, let alone Bronze will not work for you. Are you seeing where this is going?
Platinum at 40 Mbps
Always stay connected and enjoy streaming high-definition videos, music, gaming and connect your surveillance and smart devices.
Your security cameras, among other IoT devices, your online gaming rigs (at high res) and 4K streaming gear can only work reliably on a KES 11,499 package. In essence, you need to cough that much if you really must use a couple of smart devices at home (they are plenty, and will keep growing).
If your browsing experience is pedestrian at best, Bronze will be fine for you. If you need a little flexibility, bearing in mind that downloads will be limited to a single device, then Silver is the plan for you. However, if you perform lots of downloads with friends and family, you might need to pay a little more for Gold. Lastly, power users who have multiple devices such as camera surveillance gear have no choice but to buy Platinum.
Safaricom has spun the product to fit these categories after hitting an admirable milestone with Home Fibre sign-ups. Reading the package descriptions will also make you come to terms with your plan’s offering, however limiting.