Faulty fibre cable affects internet in Kenya

April 24, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 24 – Internet users in Kenya are likely to experience outages between Saturday and Monday due to a fault to a submarine cable in the Mediterranean Sea close to Alexandria in Egypt.

Fibre optic cable provider SEACOM says the underwater cable SEA ME WE 4 is what they use to connect East Africa with London via India.

A statement from the company says engineers were to repair the line between Saturday and Monday which would lead to disconnections for all Internet Service Providers (ISPs) using the SEACOM and TEAMs cables in the region.

“The ship needs to bring up the cable to replace the damaged portion, make the splice and put it back in the water under the sea bed. Traffic will then be restored as soon as the cable is spliced. Unfortunately it implies that for a short time they (engineers) will have to shut the power down on the cable system,” read the statement in part. 

The East Africa Marine System (TEAMS) which is partially owned by the government uses the same cable to connect with London via Fujairah.
Local ISPs will be forced to revert to satellite means, which will mean reduced connectivity speeds for clients.

“We estimate that the duration of the repair itself will not take more than five and six hours. it is however unpredictable to have a precise chronology of the duration of the sequence,” added the SEACOM statement.

The company, which beat its competitors TEAMS and EASSy to land its fibre optic cable in Kenya last year, says it is seeking another solution that involves the crossing of Egypt via the Red Sea which should be completed by June.


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