I now know what broadband Internet really is!

This weekend I had a real epiphany. Sometime ago, I wrote a post here about how small is beautiful when it comes to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Kenya. This opinion was further compounded this past long weekend when I was mostly stuck at home doing nothing much but being online. I had a test connection installed by Zuku over the weekend for a 256 kb/s link which I expected to be super fast. It was actually pretty good until I used my existing connection for comparison purposes.

For some reason, my existing connection to as a yet to be named ISP was smoking fast! Now, let me say that I have used their service for sometime and getting downloads of 40kb/s seemed pretty decent to me – It was faster than what we have at my office. Anyway, for some reason when I connected, it quickly passed the 40kb/s speed and went well over 100 kb/s. It then went higher still  – all the way to 300 kb/s. By this point I suspected I must be hallucinating! But I was not – It then went all the way to 400 kb/s and then sustained a download at 450 kb/s.

By now I was sure I had hogged all of the ISP’s bandwidth since that would have meant I was downloading a megabyte within approximately 3 seconds! Imagine that, in Kenya. Guess what? It got even faster and I was banging my hands on the dinner table in excitement! The connection eventually peaked at 580 kb/s! This meant that in a minute I was pulling in about 30 mb of data! As you can imagine, I ended up being online for most of the weekend and downloaded probably close to 10GB of data in all.

It was shocking! streaming HD video, downloading data and software updates, etc etc. In a nutshell, it was like a whole new world opened up for me on the Internet – this was the first time I did not curse how slow the Internet was but rather it was way too fast and I felt like a speed demon who must be breaking all the hitherto sanctioned speed limits. It actually felt criminal for the Internet to be this fast!

I was pretty certain that the TEAMS cable had gone live and my ISP was connected to it in addition to the SEACOM cable – I am now reliably informed that TEAMS is not yet even live! So, if what I experienced was only SEACOM, imagine when all the high speed undersea cables going live by the end of next year? I know that there has been much hyberbole about broadband Internet in Kenya to-date but what I saw this weekend makes it live up to the promise. I now know what broadband Internet really is!

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  1. Nawaz
    September 23, 2009 at 11:47 am — Reply

    Dude, there is a difference between kb/s and Kb/s…

    30kb/s is actually just around 4Kb/s. A meg will take you around 4 minutes to download with this connection.

    However, at 30Kb/s it’ll take you around 35 seconds to download a Meg…


    • Edutchz
      January 5, 2010 at 7:02 pm — Reply

      Dude! You have it mixed up a bit…its KB/s and Kb/s….capital “B”…stands for Bytes while small “b” stands for bits.

      And since 8bits make a Byte…well speed quoted in Kb/s say 256Kb/s (Kilobits per sec) is just same as 32KB/s (Kilobytes per sec)..just divide by 8 and there u have it.

  2. Nawaz
    September 23, 2009 at 11:54 am — Reply

    I guess you must already be aware of what I said in my my previous comment but this being a commonly frequented blog, i think that it’s giving the masses the wrong picture…

  3. September 23, 2009 at 12:20 pm — Reply

    The most important part of this article has been omitted: which ISP was this? Always on the lookout for real broadband…

  4. Chris
    September 23, 2009 at 12:28 pm — Reply

    Whoa, that is some fast internet! Im very curious to know what isp you were using and how much did you pay for connectivity? With Safaricom you can experience close to those speeds but the data caps are so frustrating

    • Edutchz
      January 5, 2010 at 7:06 pm — Reply

      Well as for me with safcom i even hit 2Mb/s..but yet again the caps are what pain me most!

      But safcom is really good when it comes to video and or voice chats over skype or yahoo messenger..now thats a fact!

  5. September 23, 2009 at 5:09 pm — Reply

    Nice! We are all waiting for you to reveal the ISP but I remember you talking about AccessKenya before so :)?

    @nawaz The difference is in kB and kb not Kb and kb. 1Byte = 8bits so 70kBps = 560kpbs. In other words 1MB (MegaByte) in approximately 15 seconds and not 3 seconds.

    Safaricom still wins though (if they just would lower their prices). I record download speeds right now at http://www.speakeasy.net/speedtest/ of over 4000kbps.

    For speed measures always use a service like http://www.speakeasy.net/speedtest/ or http://www.speedtest.net/ and make sure to pick a server NOT located in Kenya.

  6. September 23, 2009 at 8:47 pm — Reply

    Hahahah! This is the best High Bandwidth Baptism post ever. I love the “slapping the table” part – ya know my 9 month old daughter does the same when she gets mushy banana.

  7. September 24, 2009 at 1:21 am — Reply

    Oh wow. Please share my man. Which ISP is this? I will move TODAY

  8. brian
    September 24, 2009 at 6:16 am — Reply

    why post something like this and not even tell anyone about which isp it is?pretty selfish and pointless isnt it?

    • September 24, 2009 at 9:41 am — Reply

      Brian, its a good point you have. I will provide some details soon.

  9. Nawaz
    September 24, 2009 at 9:15 am — Reply

    Agree with you Chris… Data caps are really very frustrating with safcom… but come to think of, if they remove those caps – you’ll lose the speeds you are getting… there will be more people hogging the bandwidth 24/7

  10. Nawaz
    September 24, 2009 at 9:17 am — Reply

    @lamusoftware yeah safcom beats all at the moment..

    September 24, 2009 at 10:48 am — Reply

    I am dreaming of real, unlimited broadband too and of course at a sustainable cost, not the kind of thing suffericom broadband is subjecting us to.

  12. September 25, 2009 at 6:38 am — Reply

    nice article, but I think the ISP really needs to be mentioned like the rest, are you trying to get a free connection from them if you mention their name?? 😉
    I’m glad Seacom is making a difference in Kenya, South Africa has yet to feel any significant change.

    • September 26, 2009 at 11:30 am — Reply

      @tim. I responded to someone earlier on this post and mentioned the ISP. The truth is they are fast but their customer service and general reliability leave a lot to be desired. Its quite ironic but would you want me to recommend an ISP that ticks you off half the time?

      • Chris
        November 25, 2009 at 1:35 pm — Reply

        Hey, Moses! please give me the name of the ISP that you were talking about here..i need a new ISP, that is fast and reliable, please email me with the name and other contacts.



  13. erick
    September 25, 2009 at 7:28 am — Reply

    i agree with brian ,were you just writing this just to show off?or you wanted people to come to your website?,unprofessional journalism at its best any way unlike moses i’m going to tell you guys where you can get fast net same as safcom but UNLIMITED,2.5mb speeds,i use it mainly for online gaming and uploading hd videos on youtube, just e-mail me on [email protected] if you want to find out about the isp

    • September 26, 2009 at 11:28 am — Reply

      @erick. I never write to show-off 🙂 I simply wanted to share my experience.

  14. Josiah
    September 25, 2009 at 3:44 pm — Reply

    Do share, do share!

    Down load speeds of (I’m sure you meant) 580 KB/s are unheard of.. 🙂 that means your ISP can give you a link that’s > 4mbps of bandwidth .. and at 4000/- ?

    Do they know that you blog? 🙂

    • September 26, 2009 at 11:31 am — Reply

      @josiah. I will share very soon. But sign up at your own peril! See my replies to the other folks who commented on this post.

  15. Tim
    September 26, 2009 at 1:41 pm — Reply

    @moses what is name of the isp?stop beating rround the bush and share with us internet hungry kenyans!

  16. torence
    September 28, 2009 at 12:26 pm — Reply

    please tell us

  17. Tony
    September 29, 2009 at 12:24 pm — Reply

    moses is a liar,he just wanted people to visit the site…

  18. Ramzan
    September 29, 2009 at 2:01 pm — Reply

    Yeah, dear Moses, tell us who the ISP is!!

  19. October 1, 2009 at 2:26 pm — Reply

    Dude, name this ISP soonest!!!!!
    .-= mtotowajirani´s last blog ..My idea of Kenya’s (and Africa’s) future in Technology =-.

  20. October 3, 2009 at 2:45 am — Reply


    I don’t understand why you guys don’t just mention the ISP you each have in mind. Is it top secret? Will you get in trouble if you mention it?

    Aii, jameni.
    .-= Kelvin´s last blog ..How To Unsubscribe From Bidii Afrika =-.

  21. Joe
    October 3, 2009 at 3:51 am — Reply

    looks like his ”broadband internet” just went back to dial up!XD

  22. simon
    October 13, 2009 at 8:01 am — Reply

    zuku giving me sleepless nights. when i subscribed to zuku’s prosurf in may 2009, all was well and i could surf at respectable speeds. since last month, i have to wait until 11pm to be able to get good speeds. is there anybody who knows whats happening? hey moses, please help!

  23. November 12, 2009 at 5:02 am — Reply

    Hehe! its taken all this time and moses hasn’t revealed the isp?!…i bet those guys already went under!!!! since by the looks of things they probably have only ONE customer – Moses!!!hehe! The suspense has already killed this article!!! HAHA!!!!

    I don’t get what the “Top Secret”, “CIA” stuff is all about!, tell guys who the new isp is and lets take put them to the test!…Wait a minute…could it be tangerine? 😉


  24. john
    December 9, 2009 at 3:18 am — Reply

    wewe(wags finger). U have not mentioned the service provider. You should feel unworthy for saying you have. anyway is it tangerine?

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