Safaricom changes to home fibre ToS

The comments about torrenting are interesting – because the one thing I still don’t know from the publication of those FUP’s are if the FUP applies to ingress data, egress data, or both (it definitely will account ingress.) It may account ingress and egress simultaneously as a single pool – or account them separately – and it would be useful to know that.

If its ingress only – torrenting is going to hurt a lot less than ingress/egress combined – since a large amount of data usage with torrenting is the upload- which is egress – and which a lot of ISP’s won’t limit since unless you’re a content provider there is little need to limit it

Andrew

From: kictanet <kictanet-bounces+andrew.alston=liquidtelecom.com@lists.kictanet.or.ke> on behalf of Josiah Mugambi via kictanet <kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke>
Date: Thursday, 18 February 2021 at 11:08
To: Andrew Alston <Andrew.Alston@liquidtelecom.com>
Cc: Josiah Mugambi <josiah.mugambi@gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [kictanet] Safaricom changes to home fibre ToS
My takeaway is that FUPs should be published as a requirement. Also don’t torrent too much.

On Thu, Feb 18, 2021 at 11:04 AM Barrack Otieno via kictanet <kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke<mailto:kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke>> wrote:
@Ali Hussein<mailto:ahussein@kictanet.or.ke> what if the Customer does not have sufficient Capacity to understand FUP, si unampea tu ajisomee na ajipange. By the way even fish can’t come to a fisherman who doesnt have bait yet they are analogue ama namna gani?

On Thu, Feb 18, 2021 at 10:59 AM Ali Hussein via kictanet <kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke<mailto:kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke>> wrote:
Andrew

I do appreciate your very candid responses and of course, I wouldnt expect you to agree with my ‘conspiracy theories’ about data. The fact that you can’t run away from is this:-

Most ISPs run a Bait and switch sales operations machine. This a morally suspect sales tactic that lures customers in with specific claims about the quality or low prices on items that turn out to be unavailable in order to upsell them on a similar, pricier item. It is considered a form of retail sales fraud, though it takes place in other contexts.

So, when you are selling me bandwidth, don’t hide the FUP in T&Cs. Tell me to my face. Then I decide whether I’m ok with it or not. This is the biggest issue here. Not whether FUPs are done or not.

Regards

Ali Hussein

Digital Transformation

Tel: +254 713 601113

Twitter: @AliHKassim

Skype: abu-jomo

LinkedIn: ke.linkedin.com/in/alihkassim<ke.linkedin.com/in/alihkassim>

Any information of a personal nature expressed in this email are purely mine and do not necessarily reflect the official positions of the organizations that I work with.

On Thu, Feb 18, 2021 at 10:47 AM Andrew Alston <Andrew.Alston@liquidtelecom.com<mailto:Andrew.Alston@liquidtelecom.com>> wrote:
Safaricom did tell you about the FUP – unlike most ISP’s in the world that never disclose what those FUP’s are.

Also – I’d be very careful about alleging that ISP’s are all looking at user data – particularly because it’s a patently false allegation that all data is analyzed on all links. Yes – some ISP’s probably do do that kinda DPI on every circuit – but it certainly isn’t the case for a large portion of them – because its not economically feasible to do it.

Again, someone would have to pay for those analytics engines – and having written a significant amount of code to detect ddos attacks using pure packet headers (metadata) – I can tell you flatly that this belief that an ISP is sniffing every packet and analyzing it – is a conspiracy theory with very little basis in fact.

To back this up – on a software based platform – the following is the processing pipeline for packet analytics of packet metadata

1. Receive the packet
2. Categorize the packet

* By the Ethernet Protocol ID (IPv4, IPv6, possibly .1q tags)
* By the Layer 4 Protocol byte (Specifically byte 9 of the IP header in V4 traffic)
* Store the 32bit Source and Destination – combined with the Source and Destination port of the Layer 4 header dependent on if its UDP or TCP
* Hash the whole lot and place it into a lookup table against the 5 way tuple.

1. Even if you vectorize that process – you are still looking at a coupla milliseconds per packet – times millions of packets a second. A modern server can do that kinda accounting at ~20gigabit/second if they bypass kernel which bloats things – but – they haven’t touched the data segment of the packet.
2. If you look at Cisco routers – if you do port mirroring – you are limited to mirroring the first 128 bytes of the packet – because the replication of anything beyond that kills performance, it can’t be done at line rate
3. If you look at Juniper routers – you can port mirror for analytics on the full packet – but at the cost of performance.
4. On hardware asic based routing – analytics such as you are referring to requires CPU punt – because the asics aren’t designed to do what you are proposing.

A 10gig circuit can be running in excess of a million packets a second – even if you are vectorizing the packet processing – just analyzing the headers to categorize it – before you attempt to hash it and bucket it – requires a minimum of 100 instructions post packet receipt – add the hashing and bucketing – you’re looking at a few thousand instructions to the CPU *per packet* – add the payload analytics – this goes up by orders of magnitude – last I checked – ISP’s don’t have super computers lying around.

If you want full DPI to the level of analytics you are proposing – you HAVE to analyze the full payload content of the packet – and while there are boxes that can do this – they cost *millions* (of dollars not KSH) – and ISP’s generally aren’t gonna spend that kinda money unless they have to – because the cost has to be passed to the users.

Andrew

From: Ali Hussein <ali@hussein.me.ke<mailto:ali@hussein.me.ke>>
Date: Thursday, 18 February 2021 at 10:32
To: Andrew Alston <Andrew.Alston@liquidtelecom.com<mailto:Andrew.Alston@liquidtelecom.com>>
Cc: KICTAnet ICT Policy Discussions <kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke<mailto:kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke>>
Subject: Re: [kictanet] Safaricom changes to home fibre ToS
Andrew

Wacha kizungu mingi (I think you are Kenyan enough to understand what I’ve just said). 😁

Let me put you on the spot. To come up with FUP’s you already know whose doing what so that ‘innocence’ of telling us about privacy now is moot. You all use these tools to snoop on us. Period. Now do it for the benefit of the customer. Not yours. This is really very simple. You all are crying foul about costs blah blah…but when you were wooing us you didn’t tell us about FUP…

Do the right thing mate…Be on the right side of history.

Regards

Ali Hussein

Digital Transformation

Tel: +254 713 601113

Twitter: @AliHKassim

Skype: abu-jomo

LinkedIn: ke.linkedin.com/in/alihkassim<ke.linkedin.com/in/alihkassim>

Any information of a personal nature expressed in this email are purely mine and do not necessarily reflect the official positions of the organizations that I work with.

On Thu, Feb 18, 2021 at 10:19 AM Andrew Alston <Andrew.Alston@liquidtelecom.com<mailto:Andrew.Alston@liquidtelecom.com>> wrote:
Ali,

I respectfully disagree – FUP’s have been apart of the Internet since day one since they protect the integrity of the networks as a whole.

You have the option of buying an account without such an FUP – it just costs more – because someone has to cover the costs. Bandwidth doesn’t come free. This is the same reason why there are contention ratios (which I notice Safaricom also publishes).

You refer to big data analytics – yet if I were to propose that an ISP actively sniff and analyze user traffic – you’d be screaming about violations of privacy – because the type of analytics you are talking about would require deep packet inspection at levels you don’t even want to contemplate.

Let me be clear – you get what you pay for – and if every user decided to use their FUP allocated terabyte to its full capacity – for every 3240 users you would need a 10gigabit circuit – if every user ran at their maximum speeds on the 100mbit accounts – for every 100 users you would need a 10gigabit circuit. Trust me when I say – there is no world in which an ISP could afford to provide 10gigabit of bandwidth at a cost of effectively under $11k a month and still remain viable – which is what would happen if all those users maxed out.

So – let me ask you – would you prefer that ALL the users be penalized with significantly higher prices – or would you prefer that people abide by what is fair (and what is in this case, a FUP that is 4 times the global average usage for home user accounts – which is just north of 250gigabytes of data a month on global average)

Andrew

From: Ali Hussein <ali@hussein.me.ke<mailto:ali@hussein.me.ke>>
Date: Thursday, 18 February 2021 at 10:11
To: KICTAnet ICT Policy Discussions <kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke<mailto:kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke>>
Cc: Andrew Alston <Andrew.Alston@liquidtelecom.com<mailto:Andrew.Alston@liquidtelecom.com>>
Subject: Re: [kictanet] Safaricom changes to home fibre ToS
Andrew

Let me call this BS as it should be called. BS. Surely, of all people, you shouldn’t be the one to justify FUP. I appreciate your honesty though. 😀

Here’s a thought:-

With all the tools available using Big Data and Analytics, aren’t you all able to isolate the abusers and punish them instead of painting all of us with the same abuser tar brush?

I think we are in the age of companies treating their customers with the respect they deserve and actually do right by them. What you have described is communal punishment. This is wrong and the regulator needs to take note.

Regards

Ali Hussein

Digital Transformation

Tel: +254 713 601113

Twitter: @AliHKassim

Skype: abu-jomo

LinkedIn: ke.linkedin.com/in/alihkassim<ke.linkedin.com/in/alihkassim>

Any information of a personal nature expressed in this email are purely mine and do not necessarily reflect the official positions of the organizations that I work with.

On Thu, Feb 18, 2021 at 8:13 AM Andrew Alston via kictanet <kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke<mailto:kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke>> wrote:
I’ve hesitated to climb into this but – here goes anyway (everything written in personal capacity)

Firstly – almost ALL ISP’s have FUP’s in some form or another – generally buried deep in the T&C’s – as someone stated to me – in the UK with certain ISP’s suddenly your line just gets slow and then when you call support you find yourself quietly diverted to the abuse department.

The fact is that FUP’s are a necessary evil.

1. They prevent customers from reselling one account to multiple other parties while sharing it using NAT – which impacts the financial viability of the service and make its more expensive for everyone else in the end
2. ISP’s operate on contention ratios – if you do not impose some form of FUP – you either have to put up the price or the contention ratios are going to get out of whack – and everyone else is going to suffer.
3. Globally most home accounts use well shy of half a terabyte a month – a terabyte of data is a LOT of data for a single home

So let’s just put some context in what a terabyte of data actually means – and I always use video as the prime gauge of this because it’s the easiest example.

Your average Netflix 4k film runs at ~25mbit at absolute maximum if you are watching 4K on an HDR enabled TV. That’s 22.5 Gigabytes of data every 2 hours – if you watch one 4K 2 hour movie every single day for a month you will eat 675gigs of data. If we drop this to 1080p – which is far more common – you are using ~7 megabit of bandwidth – or 6.3gigs every 2 hours – if you watch 300 hours of 1080p content in a month – or 10 hours a day – you still haven’t hit that cap.

Effectively – you could watch one 4K movie every day for a month – and still watch 150 40minute tv episodes in 1080p in a month – and have room to move.

To look at it from another perspective – installation of something like Ubuntu Linux over the net – you could still over 400 machines on that kinda data load in a month.

With regards to gaming – you may burn 100gig pulling down a game and game updates – but after that in game play you are using tiny amounts of bandwidth and could keep yourself playing easily for a month with space to spare.

On Zoom calls – if you ran zoom 24 hours a day – for a month – you’d use less than 70% of that cap.

Also – I might point out that the FUP’s slow your link down once you hit that cap – to a rate that is still useable if a little sluggish.

Basically what I’m saying in all of this – Safaricom’s FUP and T&C’s to me seem perfectly reasonable and designed to protect the network – with the alternative being – the price goes up for everyone or everyone suffers because of the few when the network congests. Bandwidth aint free – and you can’t have it both ways – the product still has to make financial sense to both the consumer and the provider

Andrew

From: kictanet <kictanet-bounces+andrew.alston=liquidtelecom.com@lists.kictanet.or.ke<mailto:liquidtelecom.com@lists.kictanet.or.ke>> on behalf of Adam Lane via kictanet <kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke<mailto:kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke>>
Date: Thursday, 18 February 2021 at 07:36
To: Andrew Alston <Andrew.Alston@liquidtelecom.com<mailto:Andrew.Alston@liquidtelecom.com>>
Cc: Adam Lane <adam.lane@huawei.com<mailto:adam.lane@huawei.com>>
Subject: Re: [kictanet] Safaricom changes to home fibre ToS
There’s a webinar on this topic today for those interested
A Public Policy Discussion on #HomeFibre and #FairUsage Policies in Kenya.
🗓️ Thursday, 18th February 2021
🕜 12:00PM – 1:30PM
Sign up here:
🔗 t.co/LdD11UVy8q<t.co/LdD11UVy8q>
#LawyersHub #AfricaLawTech #ISP t.co/a5w9SUiAl6<t.co/a5w9SUiAl6>

Speakers from CA, Safaricom, Liquid, KICTAnet,

From:Beryl Aidi via kictanet <kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke<mailto:kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke>>
To:Adam Lane <adam.lane@huawei.com<mailto:adam.lane@huawei.com>>
Cc:Beryl Aidi <bee.aidi@gmail.com<mailto:bee.aidi@gmail.com>>

Subject:Re: [kictanet] Safaricom changes to home fibre ToS

Thank you Sidney for this.
I don’t think Safaricom is being sincere in this fair usage limits. They promised that with Home Fibre one can stream, download or upload stuff without limits. All you do is pay your monthly subscription. Fair usage is a type of rationing that limits how much you can do when you had been promised that you can do whatever you want. To me this is going back on a promise. It’s reminiscent of the days of unlimited 3GB bundles on the dongle modem only for them to strike you with a fair usage notice. Are other networks doing the same? As the industry leader in the country, this is bound to influence other industry players to adopt the same standards and limits which is not good. Maybe it might be time to seek other options.

Regards
Beryl

Sent from my iPad

On 16 Feb 2021, at 9:47 PM, Mwendwa Kivuva via kictanet <kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke<mailto:kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke>> wrote:
Thanks Sidney for initiating this debate.

On Tue, 16 Feb 2021 at 19:44, Sidney Ochieng via kictanet <kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke<mailto:kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke>> wrote:
Listers,
Not sure if you’ve seen the stir online of changes to the ToS with Safaricom’s home offering.
Safaricom is destroying Home Fibre with new ‘Fair Usage’ Limits: tech-ish.com/2021/02/14/safaricom-is-destroying-home-fibre-with-new-fair-usage-limits/<tech-ish.com/2021/02/14/safaricom-is-destroying-home-fibre-with-new-fair-usage-limits>

The response from the company has been disappointing in the extreme, misleading with statistics and suggesting that it’s best customers are thieves,
never mind that working for home has lead to increased demand and use of their services.

That tweet certainly does not call resellers thieves. It calls them resellers.

All this is beside the point, at least for this forum, what I’m concerned about this that if we didn’t have an eagle-eyed blogger looking out for this, it would have been completely missed until it was already in place.

So I have a few of questions:

1. Does the CA have any policies around ToS changes around services under their purview and how they are communicated to users?
CA has a consumer and public affairs department. Here is what they have to say about ToC ( CA/CPA/CEP/B/05/2014 ) ca.go.ke/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Consumer-Rights-and-Responsibilities.pdf<ca.go.ke/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Consumer-Rights-and-Responsibilities.pdf>

Perhaps CA should update that information. It is 6 years old. But good information nevertheless.

1. Should companies that run what could be considered critical infrastructure be allowed to arbitrarily change their ToS to apply retroactively especially if it’s to the detriment of their customers?
I hope lawyers here can help us with this.

1.
2. If customers choose not to accept a change in ToS what redress do they have given that perhaps the provider is the only one available in their area.
3. Finally, given that we know this could all be avoided if there was more competition in the fibre market, what is the CA doing to make it so that we have more competition in that area? It’s concerning that Safaricom seems to only option for home connections in several places
Determined by the market and economic forces. Just the other day, Safaricom was not in the home fibre market. What they have provided are more options for consumers. Numbers are stubborn facts. Fixed data subscription is as follows: Data source CA, July -September 2020 period, page 19 ca.go.ke/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Sector-Statistics-Report-Q1-2020-2021.pdf<ca.go.ke/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Sector-Statistics-Report-Q1-2020-2021.pdf>
Safaricom PLC 229,406 subscribers, 35.6% market share
Wananchi Group (Kenya) Ltd* 202,237 subscribers , 31.4 35.6% market share
Jamii Telecommunications Ltd 127,914 subscribers , 19.8 Poa % market share
Internet Kenya Ltd 56,824 subscribers ,8.8% market share
Mawingu Networks Ltd 11,087 subscribers, 1.7 % market share
Internet Solutions Kenya Ltd 9,228 subscribers, 1.4 % market share

Consumers are speaking with their wallets.

As a policy discussion list, probably what we should be asking is what is the fair cost for certain broadband packages, and whether there is anything that can be really unlimited. Wearing my competent network engineer hat, I can tell you even at Safaricom, they don’t have unlimited bandwidth. Bandwidth is a limited resource to the extent of the network devices, network media, and cost of acquiring and delivering that bandwidth to your edge device.

Best Regards
______________________
Mwendwa Kivuva, Nairobi, Kenya
www.linkedin.com/in/mwendwa-kivuva<www.linkedin.com/in/mwendwa-kivuva>
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The Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTANet) is a multi-stakeholder platform for people and institutions interested and involved in ICT policy and regulation. The network aims to act as a catalyst for reform in the ICT sector in support of the national aim of ICT enabled growth and development.

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