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 stillÂ – 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!