Orange landline Cyber operators in Machakos have recorded a slump in sales after the internet provider switched from using the older ADSL version to the new Easy net broadband beginning this year.
Several cyber centres yet to migrate to the new system have been forced to rely on photocopying and stationery sales as to remain a float.
Redempta Muthike, an employee of New Image Secretarial Bureau, a leading cyber cafe in Machakos town says they have lost majority of their clients during the last four days.
She says this has led to a slur in business at a time most business operators within the town are grappling with incessant and erratic power outages almost on a daily basis.
“Business has taken a nosedive since the new transformations took effect as most clients who use the internet have disappeared. We are now solely depending on sales from stationery and doing photocopies for customers until such a time when we shall fully be integrated into the new system,” she said.
She however exuded confidence that internet services will soon resume as they have already forwarded their application forms to Nairobi to enable them migrate to the new system.
Commenting on the challenge, local Orange Data Connectivity officer, Josephat Daisei attributes the slow intake of the new system partly to failure on the side of the clients in forwarding their forms to their office on time.
He said the company had informed all their registered users about the new changes as early as last year when the deadline to switch to the new version was set for December 31.
“We are currently handling clients from Athi River, Mwingi and Machakos town who form the bulk of our customers in this region. At the moment a number of clients in Machakos have already adhered to the new changes and are fully connected while none from Kitui has so far complied”, he said.
The officer however, says the company has already forwarded all forms it has received from their subscribers to Nairobi for authorisation to switch them to Easy Net and assured all clients of enhanced services once the programme is completed.
With the new upgraded Easynet version, users will enjoy faster internet speeds of 5 Mbp per second at shs. 5000 per month up from the previous one of 1256 Kb per second which was going for shs. 3,000. Customers whose previous accounts had not expired will continue to enjoy the old system until the expiry of those accounts.
Daisei has however, cited rampant vandalism of the company’s copper cables meant for data transmission as a big challenge in satisfying their clients’ needs.
He added that the company has not adopted the safer option of using underground fibre optic cables for fear that the cost of installing such a system will be too costly, a move, he noted will impact negatively on their customers as they would be forced to pay higher subscription charges.
By Samuel Maina