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Kenya lands a fifth underwater fibre optic cable

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In a move aimed at boosting Kenya’s Internet and telecom sector, the country announced on Tuesday that it was to land a fifth underwater fiber optic cable that will have larger capacity than the current four other cables altogether.
Kenyan authorities have announced the landing of a fifth underwater fibre optic cable to boost the country's Internet and telecommunications sector. (Image: File)

Information Permanent Secretary Bitange Ndemo said in a statement that “uptake of the existing cable capacity will only multiply once the country goes into 4G in the near future.”

However, he did not give specifics on the new cable or a timeline for its completion, but added that the country was currently “in talks” with a company based in the Middle East.

Kenya would have 15 terabytes once the fifth cable lands, he said.

The current four cables in existent to the country also serve the East African region as a whole, which makes establishing a fifth cable optimal to boost overall Internet services for the country.

According to the latest statistics published by the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK), 17.38 million people in the country had access to the Internet in December 2011, with a penetration rate of 44.12 percent.

Ndemo said the government plans “to construct two Tier 4 data centers at the proposed technopolis, Konza City.”

Kenya already has two data centers in the country, the National Data Centre and the Kenya Data Networks Data Centre.

“To solidify the country’s foothold in the region as an ICT hub, the government is expected to roll out the National ICT Master Plan this month. The plan seeks to set up Kenya as a leader in ICT investment and innovation by the year 2017,” he added.

Mohammad Awad


  1. We will only lead if the cables translate into more uptake in the rural and semi urban areas of Kenya. Don't forget literacy levels will significantly affect the uptake.

  2. Rubbish. Its 4 AM, I've been working since midnight, I have a 3.75G connection, 15km from the city centre and my service provider can't deliver beyond 20KB/s. They could land a thousand cables but until the service providers stop thinking short term and actually invest in proper infrastructure and stop trying to hyper-inflate prices (to recoup investment costs — Hallo! You do that when you make *PROFITS* from delivering a good affordable service). Till then, we watch countries like Ghana and Rwanda understand what it means and watch it grow while the rest of us sit around waiting for the day a miracle happens.

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