Search

 

Cablegate: Kenya: Fiber Cuts Undermine Growth of Ict Sector

VZCZCXYZ0713
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHNR #2592 3500906
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 160905Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0135
INFO RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS NAIROBI 002592

SIPDIS
STATE ALSO FOR AF/E AND AF/EPS
STATE PASS USAID/EA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON EINV ECPS ETRD AMTC AADP ACOA ANET KE XW
SUBJECT: KENYA: FIBER CUTS UNDERMINE GROWTH OF ICT SECTOR

REF: NAIROBI 992

1. SUMMARY: Fiber cuts are degrading the potentially positive
impact of the new broadband Internet connections in Kenya. Kenya
Data Networks (KDN), the country's largest private data carrier and
infrastructure provider, has experienced 153 fiber cuts in the last
three months. KDN suspects that two-thirds of the cuts are a
result of sabotage by competitors. The fiber cuts are impacting
the growth of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT)
industry and mission operations. End Summary.

2. During 2009, two undersea fiber cables arrived in Mombasa
providing Kenya with its first terrestrial fiber Internet links to
the rest of the world (reftel). The promise of faster and cheaper
Internet access through the privately funded South East Africa
Communications (SEACOM) and the government funded The East African
Marine System (TEAMS) cables, encouraged a great deal of excitement
throughout Kenya regarding the future of its Information and
Communications Technology (ICT) industry. In particular,
investment was expected to increase in the business process
outsourcing (BPO) and software development sectors of Kenya's
nascent ICT industry. However, fiber cuts, many of them the result
of sabotage, are degrading the potentially positive economic impact
of the new fiber connections.

3. Over the last three months KDN, the largest private data
carrier and infrastructure provider in Kenya, has experienced 153
fiber cuts. KDN estimates that two-thirds of the cuts,
approximately 100, are a result of sabotage while the remaining
cuts involve normal accidents such as construction-related digging.
In the last three weeks alone, KDN has experienced three major cuts
to the primary fiber pipe from Mombasa. KDN does not have a backup
redundant pipe to Mombasa but expects to have one available by
February 2010. KDN has purchased bandwidth on both undersea cables
and will have undersea cable redundancy by the end of 2009. Other
internet infrastructure providers, including Telkom Kenya, are also
reporting sabotage from fiber cuts.

4. The Embassy contracts with KDN to provide a six megabyte per
second fiber data pipeline. Embassy housing compounds, including
the largest at Rosslyn Ridge, also contract with KDN to provide a
residential Internet service via an ISP paid for by the residents.
In November, the Embassy and Rosslyn Ridge were impacted ten times
due to the fiber cuts. KDN retains satellite backup service but
only at 15 percent of the fiber pipeline capability. Outages can
take up to four hours or longer to repair before full service is
restored. In one case, a KDN outage lasted three days due to
multiple cuts on the main fiber connection.

5. Internet infrastructure providers suspect competitors of
sabotaging the fiber pipelines. Emergency response teams have
actually caught the people hired to cut the pipes. None of the
major infrastructure providers cooperate to provide redundancy via
a competitor's pipeline. However, a recent proposal by the Kenya
telecoms regulator would force infrastructure providers to share
network facilities and swap capacity.

6. COMMENT: Kenya needs cheap, reliable, broadband-speed access
to the internet to boost competitiveness, create jobs in Kenya's
nascent ICT and BPO industries, and deepen internet penetration to
the general public. However, it appears that satellite internet
providers and less nimble infrastructure providers are sabotaging
Kenya's broadband future. Completion of the redundant cables and
the proposal to force carriers to swap capacity should reduce the
impacts of sabotage, eventually driving slower speed providers out
of the market. End comment.

RANNEBERGER
RANNEBERGER

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 


Save The Children: World Leaders Urged To Halt Escalating Hunger Crisis

A group of 120 non-governmental organisations has joined forces in an open letter calling on world leaders to do more to halt a devastating global hunger crisis as new analysis shows the number of people likely to be in need of humanitarian aid in 2022 could rise by 17%...More>>

WMO: Another La Niña Impacts Temperatures And Precipitation – But Not Climate Change
La Niña has developed for the second consecutive year and is expected to last into early 2022, influencing temperatures and precipitation. Despite the cooling influence of this naturally occurring climate phenomenon, temperatures in many parts of the world are expected to be above average because of the accumulated heat trapped in the atmosphere...
More>>


UN: Violations Of Palestinian Rights Puts Two-State Solution At Risk, Chief Warns
The situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, continues to pose a significant challenge to international peace and security, United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, said on Monday... More>>


Oxfam: Failure To Vaccinate The World Created Perfect Breeding Ground For Omicron, Say Campaigners

Campaigners from the People’s Vaccine Alliance say the refusal of pharmaceutical companies to openly share their vaccine science and technology and the lack of action from rich countries to ensure access to vaccines globally have created the perfect breeding ground for new variants such as Omicron... More>>


World Food Programme: Millions More In Need Of Food Assistance As A Direct Result Of Conflict In Northern Ethiopia

The number of people in need of humanitarian food assistance across northern Ethiopia has grown to an estimated 9.4 million as a direct result of ongoing conflict, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) announced today... More>>


Food: Three Billion People Cannot Afford A Healthy Diet

Approximately three billion people, almost 40 per cent of the world’s population, cannot afford a healthy diet and another one billion people would join their ranks should further unpredictable events reduce incomes by one-third, the UN food agency said, launching a new report on Tuesday... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC