I moved to Nairobi from Nakuru months back and before I got office space thanks to Mark Stephenson of Sandstorm Kenya, I used to work from home. It was me, my laptop, a shitty yet expensive internet connection courtesy of the various modems (YU, Safaricom, and Orange) and a lot of patience on my part if I was to achieve anything at all. I was not alone in this because I have met my fair share of entrepreneurs who are making their living working from home. For a lot of Techpreneurs – a growing segment of Kenyan entrepreneurs – a healthy internet access is central to our businesses and we will definitely always look to an ISP that serves us well on this front.
Truth is, we are not a happy lot. When you read various forums in the country; it is clear that Kenyan ISP’s have for long been lacking in one way or another. I was at the Barcamp Nairobi the previous Saturday and even the crazy Bandwidth that they have there could not withstand the serious downloading that many of the participants were doing. These participants were the crème de la crème of Tech heads in Kenya yet a big agenda for their going to Barcamp included downloading a backlog of programs, movies, uploading of vast data among other things that their usual internet connections at home simply cannot handle. The internet connections which they can afford can only do so much… the heavy work will have to wait for the next bandwidth filled conference.
Last week I received a Press Release from a PR Firm representing Access Kenya. The subject read, “Access Kenya ups its ante on home internet use.” I was pretty excited about this considering I do my best work at night at home (at least when my idiot neighbour is asleep or out because he insists on blasting blaring Hip Hop despite his age). I also insist on working at night because I get a descent internet connection when those I am supposed to be sharing my bandwidth with are usually asleep. From the press release, Access Kenya has decided to make lives easier for home internet users…
From the press release,
“Home internet users will now be able to access faster internet and less expensive downloading of large quantities of data, hence helping reduce costs considerably.”
Sounds good, doesn’t it. This action is informed by a survey which shows that:
“Over 85 per cent of home users prefer to use the internet from 6.00 p.m. to 10.00 a.m. The same study shows that home internet will grow by 80 per cent by 2012”
Below is part of the press release verbatim:
Speaking about the latest move AccessKenya’s Group Managing Director, Mr. Jonathan Somen said that the availability of internet access is a catalyst for innovation “Thousands of Kenyans who want to increase their income from the comfort of their homes can now rest easy as internet speeds have been increased for their benefit,” said Mr Somen.
“There is no doubt that home high-speed internet service is vital for Kenyans in every part of the country. Access to fast internet is crucial for developing the knowledge based economy, improving the ability of businesses and individuals to network and innovate in line with goals of Vision 2030”. He added.
And to encourage more people to install home based internet, AccessKenya has removed installation fees and have passed on the benefit to consumers, with a refundable deposit of Ks 10,000 for clients on the service for one year.
The installation of new speed is a big boost to home based internet business that have become popular in many urban areas in Kenya following the arrival of the fiber optic network in the country, and will allow Kenyan homesteads to experience the benefits of higher internet speeds.
Note however that I have not tried this. If you are an Access@Home user, please leave a comment below with your review of the above and what impact it has had to you and your business.