Small is beautiful when it comes to the Internet in Kenya.
I never thought I could say this but I am now convinced that the smaller an Internet Service Provider (ISP) or Telco is in Kenya, the more likely their internet service is going to actually be better. I have used them all, the big name ISP and Telco brands and more often then not, they seem to fall short even when they claim to offer broadband internet access.
I recently got hooked up at home to a small ISP that is only operational in Nairobi and its environs. They gave me a “free” wifi router that means I can connect multiple computers at the same time to the internet. They also are charging a reasonable monthly flat rate of approximately Kes. 4,000.00, value added tax (VAT) included for “unlimited” internet access.
The service, so far, is nothing short of amazing. The company in question is a little rough on the edges in terms of personnel and customer service but I am streaming (unbuffered) video and downloading large files at a (sustained) average rate of 25 KB per second and it occasionally peaks at 40 KB per second! Its fast and reliable – at least a lot faster than many other big name ISPs and Telcos I have used over the years.
I think its time that Internet consumers in Kenya have an authoritative monthly report that rates ISPs and Telcos on their overall performance – from bandwidth to customer service, and anything else in between. I reckon most consumers and businesses would rather have a reliable and fast internet connection over lots of customer service when it just isn’t working right! At the end of the day, even if we keep talking about the promise of high speed fibre cables going live, we just want a decent internet connection.