Archive for July, 2009|Monthly archive page

Kenya on The Global Fibre Optic Map, Finally

Seacom has gone live! Finally. I was to break the champagne bottle on 27th June 2009, but July 23 is still OK. Read more from Daily Nation.

Internet broadband has become a reality in Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and Uganda for the first time after one of the four awaited undersea cables was finally switched on today (Thursday).

The Seacom cable went live simultaneously in the four countries in addition to South Africa, and the Kenya portion of the cable was immediately connected to five internet service providers.

However, Seacom officials declined to name the ISPs because their customer contracts barred them from revealing such information.

Seacom, a privately-funded consortium, laid the cable at a cost of US$865m (Sh67 billion at current exchange rates). It is due to be connected to Rwanda in two weeks.

The commissioning was marked with a live telecast by Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwete in Dar es Salaam with the media in Kampala, Maputo, Johannesburg, London and Marseille.

“The arrival of this cable signals the beginning of a new era in the telecommunications sector,” said Mr Kikwete.

“History has been made.”

Cisco Systems vice-president Le Roux, whose firm provided the technology for the cable, said: ” “Today is the day technology has arrived in Africa.”

Seacom announced that it would offer wholesale prices in the range of $100 (Sh7,700 ) per megabyte, with even more subsidised costs of between $10-$25 (Sh770-Sh1,925) dollars to schools, and research and health institutions.

“I can emphatically state that broadband will change the connectivity and economy of Africa,” said Seacom president Brian Herlihy in a live feed from the Tanzanian capital.

Five yet-to-be-named internet players were the first to access the 6,500 kilometre-cable following the switch and will now connect their equipment to the marine cable as they prepare to link offices and homes.

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