I know there might be someone who just got fibre and is furious right now. There is intermittent service on Liquid Home’s network right now and they have acknowledged it. I promise, this is not the norm, clearly something is wrong. You may have missed the notice. Said Liquid Home,
Important Notice: Service Degradation
Please note that we are currently experiencing degraded speeds on our network resulting in intermittent connectivity and in some cases, loss of service. Our engineers are working to resolve this in the shortest time possible.
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Start time: 09:38hrs
Resolution time: TBA
We apologize for any inconvenience caused.On twitter too.
Find out more about what really happened here: Liquid Home (ZOL) is down.
I’m here to rant a little.
The Zimbabwean service interruptions
Liquid Home has been solid in my personal experience, service interruptions have been few and far between. Admittedly this is from a Zimbabwean perspective because the truth is there have been one too many fibre breaks over the years.
However, it is as you would expect fibre to be, more reliable than the mobile broadband from Econet and Netone that I use.
I feel we Zimbabweans have been conditioned to accept service interruptions as just a part of life. In a world that is relying on technology for more and more activities we have to demand more.
I gave my testimony about how Liquid Home has been reliable for me. However, I don’t think I would be singing their praises if I had an online test or interview that was interrupted by today’s service degradation. Cause that’s the thing, someone might have had an all important Zoom call that they missed and that’s not okay.
We have seen the same from our banks and mobile money service providers. I once missed a fees payment deadline when EcoCash went down the whole day on deadline day.
It seems like we are talking about this bank or that bank’s service going down every other week.
You can just imagine how terrible it was for someone who had traveled and depended on their BancABC’s VISA card, only for it to be down for days on end that other time. It’s not just BancABC, too many banks face intermittent service too often.
How many times have you seen someone clog up the line in a supermarket because the network to their payment provider is down. It happens too often and it’s frustrating and a bit embarrassing to leave groceries by the till. Everyone not in earshot assumes it’s down to insufficient funds.
Until we demand better
When are we all going to decide this is not okay? Are these companies trying to manage their wage bills so badly as to understaff their engineering departments? Or are they hesitant to pay the big bucks to experienced engineers and instead relying on interns fresh from college? Are they holding off on upgrading old equipment?
In Liquid’s case, you know, the one that brought us to this rant, we can appreciate that there is some backup that’s allowing at least some service. Even so, clearly something more drastic needs to be done to safeguard trunk links. Of all the criticism you can give Liquid, low investment is not one of them. But this needs to be looked at more closely.
In most other cases for other companies, from the outside it does appear like there isn’t enough investment in equipment and skilled engineers. That might be a wrong conclusion but it’s hard not to get there.
Whatever the real case, as Zimbabweans we deserve better. Of course we cannot ignore the prevailing economic reality, especially the forex shortages and their impact on business. That may be real but at some point it starts sounding like excuses.
You feel like we don’t really have options and the service providers can call our bluff. I feel the same but dang it, we gotta do something otherwise this will be the norm for decades to come.