Though the time allotted and the format of the launch could not allow for greater depth of presentations, quite a couple of issues emerged from the generalities said. These came from both sides i.e. both KDN and the Nakuru Business Community. The Business Community expressed their need for fast and cost effective internet connectivity.
As a person who has been in Nakuru for long enough, I have my reservations as to what a faster internet connection would entail for a place that did not meet the capacity of the slower internet we had before fibre. As I wrote in a previous post, Fibre Optic in Rift Valley: A highway without cars!, excess capacity will be pointless to a business community that hardly has a presence online save for sending a couple of emails here and there. A perfect example is a major Hotel here which only has one computer.
Few Businesses here have websites and those that have do not appreciate the fact that having a website is only the beginning and not an end in itself. KDN has a wide array of services that lend themselves to a better appreciation of online activities. Take for instance services like Butterfly Optic Express (BOX) Izzytalk and MobiPay. These are pretty sophisticated services that will probably have problems gaining traction here. And this is the reason I was a bit disappointed that the launch lacked greater depth in terms of what these services will mean for Businesses in Nakuru. I hope that KDN will organize a follow-up session that will allow a better showcase of these services at work. Otherwise, they will have problems in terms of takers.
But even before KDN has to worry about getting clients, it is already faced by a couple of challenges that once again point to the lack of understanding by those who should clearly be at the forefront of ensuring a speedy launch.
We have all experienced crappy internet. But it gets worse when you are paying through your nose for a crappy internet connection. I for one hate the Safaricom Bundles and I believe they should be sued for even introducing such a thing in Kenya. And I am not alone in this thinking. A one thousand shillings bundle would get wiped out in a matter of minutes and one cannot help but feel robbed after such an experience. And recently, they introduced the unlimited internet offer but for KES 1000 a week. That is a cool KES 4000 a month that I am not wiling to spend when cheaper better options (pun intended) are staring me right in the face. Arthur Kinyanjui, an accounts executive at KDN was kind enough to not only show me what 256kbps connection from KDN’s BOX product can do in terms of streaming videos but assured me that the Video conference we had with the CEO was courtesy of the same 256kbps connection.
If you have enrolled to the BOX broadband solution, please be kind enough to share your experience with us at the comment section below. As always, I will take the word of a fellow consumer over a seller any day.
But if indeed the quality is as I witnessed in the few minutes, then Small Business Owners are in for a treat with this BOX solution. Mr. Kinyanjui was kind enough to forward me the price quotations and they are as follows:
WHAT IS BOX?
Butterfly Optic Xpress (BOX) is a new broadband solution from KDN targeting the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) and businesses that operate from Small Office and Home Office (SOHOS). Businesses in the over 400 buildings already connected with Fibre optic will enjoy cheaper and efficient connectivity from BOX.
Pay deposit of Kshs.15,000.00 and get connected!
– No installation charges
– No integration charges
– No equipment charges
– 256 Kbps Kshs.999.00
– 512 Kbps Kshs.1,999.00
– 1 Mbps Kshs.3,999.00
– 2 Mbps Kshs.5,999.00
– 5 Mbps Kshs.7,999.00
– All the bundles get an Izzytalk line free
– The 1 – 5 Mbps bundles come with Kshs.100.00 Izzytalk airtime
– Unlimited email addresses from www.butterfly.co.ke
– Domain hosting and 5 email addresses for 1-5 Mbps bundles
– Refundable on request after 2 years
– Forfeited if client discontinues service before 2 years are over
Payment of services
– Deposit and all monthly charges will be through accredited resellers
For all support and enquiries
– Telephone 020 5 000 005
During his speech, Mr. Kai Wulff asked who among the attendees building owners were. Surprisingly, nobody raised their hands and this shocked Mr. Wolf a bit. Given the challenge that KDN is facing with building owners across the country, it is surprising that none was in attendance. I do not know who should take blame for this but one thing is for sure, building owners needs to be educated on the benefits of getting their building wired.
To the building owners who are eager to charge rent to KDN for placing Internet Switches in your buildings, consider the following:
Almost every speaker spoke about local content creation even if they did not know what the official name is. Tandaa Kenya is a Kenya ICT Board Initiative that is all about local content creation. Talking to the NBA Chairman after the event, he asked me what I am doing or will be doing to take advantage of the presence of Fibre. I told him that I have been looking for him to be a client. At the end of the day, local content creation can only be sustainable if it can be monetized. Monetizing local content will require business people that are willing to fund, invest, or purchase this content. It cannot exist in isolation. Looking at the format of the Tandaa Website, I was somewhat disappointed because it is not a catalogue of Locally Developed API’s or other forms of digital content. Rather, it is a form of news portal. However, Afrigadget seems to be the place to be when it comes to local technologies. And finally, reiterating what Mr. Wolf said, we should be noted not for cheap labour as far as BPO is concerned but rather for quality labour. The same extends to all form of local content creation.
Lastly, I think I will be moving houses soon. KDN seems to be cheaper than the modems I am currently servicing and I do hope that the speed and quality is what they profess. Whatever the case, I will be here to give my experiences, good or bad.