Last week, Safaricom announced they were doubling Home Fibre Speeds. Safaricom Home Fibre customers would enjoy increased speeds without an increase in cost, and everyone was happy.
The company also introduced in its updated terms and conditions a Fair Usage Policy (FUP).
According to the FUP, Safaricom Home Fibre packages will now offer specific monthly usage caps on each package. When these usage caps are exceeded, your speeds will reduce for the rest of the month, or unless you renew your package through the “Change Plan” option.
Understanding Fair Usage Policy
It’s important to note that Safaricom is not the only provider with FUP. Zuku and Faiba have a FUP in place and they use it to ensure that everyone has equal access to internet resources. It’s probably something most of us have been overlooking when using our home or even mobile internet.
This clause is a policy utilized internationally by ISPs to ensure that every subscriber does not place excessive demands on the network at the expense of other customers.
When a user uses a large amount of data, it means other users in the same network will be adversely affected. To prevent those few-mass data consumers from hogging all the bandwidth and slowing down other users’ connections, the ISP will cap the abuser’s data speeds.
Some of these users resell the data leading to excessively high volumes from a single link. These commercial users slow down the internet for all other customers by hogging all the bandwidth since the Home network is not designed for such excessive usage.
If Safaricom were to design their Home Network to support both home and commercial usage, the costs per customer would be higher leading to less affordable internet. To therefore ensure high speeds at an affordable price, a Fair Usage Policy is necessary to protect the majority of the customers who use less than 5% of what the commercial users use.
This policy may seem unreasonable, but the reasons behind these measures are well…..practical. The aim is to ensure that users have the best experience using the internet. These providers, in this case Safaricom or any other provider will monitor your consumption and if you go beyond your fair-use limit, they can restrict your network speed. For example even though you might be using the 20 Mbps Safaricom home silver package with unlimited downloads, your speed may be heavily limited at peak times.
Will the FUP affect the average user?
The point is, the FUP won’t affect the average user. Safaricom says that nearly all of its home fibre customers don’t hit the 500GB limit. According to Safaricom, the average user hits 350GB per month.
The new terms will take effect from 1st March 2021.