Businesses that connect to the Internet through the TEAMS undersea cable are set to experience downtimes between today and July 28 as the operator embarks on maintenance works.
The East African Marine System-TEAMS- that is jointly owned by the government and the private sector yesterday said the shutdown is to allow for expansion of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Port of Fujairah.
The TEAMS cable connects Kenya to the international network via Fujairah in the UAE.
Besides the Government of Kenya, the other shareholders in the TEAMS consortium include Safaricom, Telkom Kenya, Liquid Telecom Kenya, Jamii Telecom, Wananchi Telecom, Access Kenya Group and Bandwidth & Cloud Services Group.
The telecommunications firms that ride on TEAMS will be forced to look for alternative routes to cushion their clients from total Internet outage.
Besides TEAMs, the country is linked to three other undersea cables, Seacom, Eassy and LION2 on which the affected operators can reroute their traffic to or use satellite links.
“During the time of complete system downtime, estimated at a maximum of 10 days, customers are likely to experience slow Internet speeds because of bandwidth constraints as result of limited traffic restoration via other cable systems,” said the TEAMS General Manager Joel Tanui, in a statement.
“Thereafter, the remaining protective works will be carried out after the system is re-powered and traffic restored.”
Mr Tanui said the estimated cost of the preventive maintenance works, including that of temporary traffic restoration via other cables during the outage will be about Sh300 Million ($3 million), excluding loss of business as a result of heavily constrained bandwidth supply to contracted customers.
Internet users are expected to experience low speeds in the first phase of the maintenance up to July 28 when the cable will shut down.
“All the preventive maintenance works are estimated to take about two weeks, subject to favourable sea weather conditions, with every effort being made to reduce the overall time as much as possible,” Mr Tanui said.
The planned cable reinforcement works is designed to increase security of the TEAMS cable against anchoring ships and external aggression following the proposed expansion of UAE Port of Fujairah is planned for July to August 2016.
Credit: Business Daily