It is almost a year since Kenya adopted several drastic measures to contain the spread of the Coronavirus. One of those measures, encouraging as many people as people (mandatory for those aged 65 and above), was the adoption of working from home.
To facilitate working (and, by extension, learning) from home, Safaricom opted to double the bandwidth of subscribers to its fibre-to-the-home service, Home Fibre.
This was on top of other measures like those it undertook in complying with a presidential directive (enforced by the financial services industry regulator, the Central Bank of Kenya) that included the discarding of fees for transactions amounting up to Kshs 1,000 made on its mobile money platform, M-Pesa and the doubling of transaction limits, among others.
While the measures meant to cushion the public from the effects of the pandemic like the withdrawal of M-Pesa transaction fees lapsed at the end of 2020, Safaricom has continued offering its Home Fibre subscribers the same doubled bandwidth it has offered them for over 10 months.
Now, the company has announced, it is making the move permanent.
That is to say that subscribers on a plan like, say, Silver, which capped the bandwidth at 10mbps pre-COVID, will now permanently enjoy speeds of up to 20mbps. The same will apply to those on Gold (20mbps pre-COVID) as well.
Subscribers on the upper Diamond (40mbps pre-COVID) tier will get more than double the bandwidth in the new changes announced today. For the Kshs 12,000 they pay monthly, they will now browse at speeds of up to 100mbps.
Those on the lower Bronze plan will see their bandwidth increased from 5mbps to 8mbps.
It is worth noting that the changes also come with adjustments in pricing for those on the Gold and Diamond plans whose charges have gone up by Kshs 300 and 500 respectively, at least since the last time we looked at them.
The changes are effective on March 1, 2021.
Note: While the terms “bandwidth” and “speed” are used interchangeably in this article, mostly in a manner denoting similarity, there’s actually a difference between them and we are just being generous by going with a common understanding. Read more about that here.