Starlink’s Internet Service Works Really Well In Kenya, If You’re In The Sticks!
Contrary to my experience a few months ago where I lamented about the underwhelming performance of Starlink in Nairobi, it actually works really well, probably for a number of reasons, in the proverbial sticks!
I just got to Nairobi from a few days upcountry and during my time there I only found out on my last day of the break that we had been on a Starlink connection all along.
This was a small holiday homes location with a handful of cottages all sharing a common Starlink Internet connection distributed using ethernet and WiFi. The location in question would not be accessible to any of the usual home fiber internet service providers (ISPs) like Safaricom, JTL, or Zuku. Even reliable Safaricom 4G internet access was dicey out there!
One thing that was very clear to me is that the Starlink satellite dish was mounted on the very tippy top of the roof on the second floor of one of the homes, just adjacent to the chimney. In my previous experience in Nairobi, where there are lots of trees and buildings around where I live, the caveat to having a satisfying Starlink Internet experience seems to have been these ‘obstructions’ that compromised having a consistently reliable and fast Internet connection.
Obstructions seem to be the bane of a great Starlink Internet experience from what I can tell which made me write off the service for the typical urban dweller in Nairobi, at the very least. That being said, out in the sticks, as I discovered, Starlink delivered a stellar Internet performance when mounted really high up with zero obstructions to get a good satellite link as all we had around us was grass and short bushes.
As you will see in the speed test screen grab shared here, speeds of 100Mbps were achieved even when multiple users were on the shared connection at any given time. My sense is that if this was a dedicated link to a singular home or office the speeds could have been as high as 200Mbps, if not faster. Madness!
Now, consider the fact that Starlink costs around Kes.100,000 to buy the kit and another Kes. 6,500 to use the service on a monthly subscription. This is essentially double or even quadruple the speeds you would get using any of the typical home or office fiber-based ISPs mentioned here at approximately the same price. If you could figure out how to install and ensure an unobstructed Starlink satellite dish anywhere in Kenya including Nairobi, you would be winning, hands down!