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TEAMS Cable on schedule

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Safaricom_CEO2.jpgTHE East African Marine Systems Cable (TEAMS) secretariat has refuted claims that the cable landing ceremony in Mombasa presided over by President Mwai Kibaki was a hoax.

Safaricom’s CEO, Michael Joseph, who is also the Chairman of the TEAMS board of directors said the physical laying of the cable between Mombasa and Fujairah is complete.

Joseph said the function attended by President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga in Mombasa on June 12th 2009 was the shore end landing of the cable which is the penultimate stage of completion before the final splice.

“The landing stations on both sides i.e. Mombasa and Fujairah are complete and indeed the contractor is already carrying out extensive equipment tests,” said Joseph.

He said the article appearing in a section of the press on Sunday which made comparisons between TEAMS and another cable was misleading.

“To my mind there is no relationship between TEAMS and SEACOM, these are fundamentally different projects in terms of ownership and national priority and any reference to the two being in competition in relation to the alleged delay of TEAMS is false, misleading and downright malicious on the part of the newspaper,” said Joseph.

He further went on to indicate that the value in TEAMS was self evident and that it would be the first public private partnership of its kind to deliver affordable international broadband connectivity to East Africa.

Joseph pointed out that it was regrettable that the article made no factual reference to the board of TEAMS, the Government or the contractor, M/ S Alcatel Submarine Networks.

“The story further seems to suggest that the E-Marine Ship MV NIWA was hanging about the Kilindini port and sailed over 4000Km’s to come and stage manage an event at the cost of millions of dollars, that in itself defies reason,” he said in a statement.

He said it was important to draw a distinction between the “landing of the cable” and the completion of the TEAMS project adding that the former refers to the mere physical completion of the cable between the two landing stations, while the latter refers to the actual ready for commercial service date of the cable.

“It will be important to point out that the ready for commercial service date is still several weeks away with at least 6 weeks of testing required before commercial traffic can be allowed through.

Joseph said that all activities related to TEAMS were running on schedule and it was just a matter of time before Kenyans started enjoying the long anticipated services of the cable.

Brian Adero

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