The East African Marine System (TEAMS CABLE) has today announced a scheduled, preventive maintenance works which will lead to a downtime of close to one week. The maintenance works are aimed at enhancing the security of the cable at UAE Off-Shore against anchoring ships and external aggression meaning there will be a total outage between 20th – 28th July 2016.
Why is this important?
TEAMS which was established in 2009, is a 5,000-km fibre-optic undersea cable which links Kenya to UAE and serves Kenya’s national fiber backbone network. Teams is a joint venture project between the government of Kenya and Kenyan telco operators, who hold 88 percent shares and UAE-based operator Etisalat, with 12 percent. The Kenyan Telcos include Safaricom that owns a 32.5% stake, Kenya government at 20%, Telkom Kenya at 20%, Liquid Telecom– 10% and Jamii Telecom – 6.25%. TEAMS suppliers fiber to Kenyan leading Internet companies including Safaricom, Telkom Kenya, Liquid Telecom Kenya, Jamii Telecom, Wananchi Telecom, Access Kenya Group and Bandwidth & Cloud Services Group, virtually every ISP in Kenya.
TEAMS says the timing for the maintenance works are taking place in compliance with the UAE Port of Fujairah timelines to avail more anchoring space required for expansion of the Port. During the time of complete system downtime will take place, where customers are likely to experience slow internet speeds because of bandwidth constraints as result of limited traffic restoration via other cable systems. It is estimated that the cable outage will cost about $ 3 Million (Kshs 300 Million), excluding loss of business as a result of the service loss.
Owing to the sensitivity of the matter, we sought a statement from a few of the affected players, on how they plan on dealing with the issue. According to Safaricom’s Director of Corporate Affairs Stephen Chege, Safaricom has made preparations for the TEAMS outage. “We anticipate little to no disruption for our customers. All our network traffic will be migrated to the SEACOM undersea cable during the maintenance period.” said a reply to Techweez queries. John Kamau, Jamii Telecommunications General Manager says the customers will not be affected by the planned outage. “JTL has redundancy via the SEACOM cable and customers won’t be affected by the outage”, he said. Others we queried were yet to reply as of publishing this article.
So, brace yourselves in readiness for a slow Internet week.