Kenya’s Wananchi Group is a major player in Kenya’s broadband internet market, with 35,000 Of Kenya’s roughly 63,500 terrestrial broadband users getting their internet through its Zuku Fiber. 

In January 2016, the company announced that it would increase the cost of its internet packages because it needed to invest in service improvements.

In consideration of the price hike, Zuku promised a speed upgrade. Those on the 10 Mbps package, for example, would now get a 5 Mbps bump in speed to 15 Mbps, and users on 50 Mbps would be upgraded to 60 Mbps.

The service’s customer care accounts, ZukuOfficial and Zuku_WeCare on Twitter, are always on for anyone with a service inquiry. Over the past weekend, several customers reported reduced speed and lost connections on the service.

One user Marcus Olang’ tested his speed using the Zuku speedtest app. He paid for 10 Mbps, and he was getting 0.39, meaning that he could not even get a 240p video to play properly on YouTube.

After Marcus pointed this out, Zuku asked that he upgrade his service if he wanted higher speeds.

Other users pointed out that the degradation started after a text from Zuku announcing the speed upgrade… The irony of this was clearly not lost on them.

To which Zuku responded that the upgrade was going to take effect on their next billing date.

The major decline in speed and continued service disruption was ultimately attributed to ‘internet online activities are exceeding the bandwidth’. Basically, user activity was exceeding the provider’s capacity.

In another tweet, Zuku attributed the lower speed to a signal interruption.

The degradation in speed and lost connections were Zuku’s equivalent of the Twitter Fail Whale, apparently.

In its Fair Use Policy, Zuku attributes deteriorations in speed to heavy traffic during peak usage hours, mainly late morning to early evening hours. On weekends and holidays, the policy adds, peak hours generally extends a little earlier in the morning to until midnight.


I’m on the 1Mbps package, and I’m getting just over half that on a Monday morning. Someone will have to explain to me what those two random spikes are though.

Marcus’ speeds later improved.

As did other users.

Something tells me this won’t be the last we hear about Zuku’s speed woes.

Eric Mugendi Author

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