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Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Fiber cables
A road contractor has cut underground fiber cables belonging to Kenya Data Networks and Telkom Kenya near Jomvu seriously affecting internet services in Kenya. To make matters worse, KPLC dark fiber that many ISPs and telecoms use between Nairobi and Mombasa was also cut near Mombasa when alleged scrap metal vultures vandalized a pylon.

The result is that internet services have been intermittent as carriers scramble to seek alternative routes.

Currently, big carriers like Safaricom are relying on the government-owned National Optic Fiber Internet Backbone (NOFBI).

Telkom Kenya has already reportedly come back on line and KDN is said to have told clients it expects to be back up in about two hours time.

Players have renewed their calls for a bill imposing stiff penalties on vandals and careless road contractors who cut crucial infrastructure like telecommunication and power lines.

As soon as it is passed, telcos are said to be waiting to swoop down on contractors with a vengeance.

The disruption comes at a time when the country's outbound traffic is being channelled through Seacom because TEAMS was cut by a ship's anchor at the coast and is undergoing repair while Eassy is being repaired for a cut near Djibouti.

Also said to be affected was the Reuters Currency Dealing System at local banks which crippled trade with the Shilling exchanging at around 82.40 to the dollar.

Some banks reported downtime on their ATMs.


  1. A simple GIS system showing the precise location of such crucial infrastructure can greatly minimize if not eliminate such occurrences. Road contractors should be encouraged to invest in such digital systems, and the govt should push for the digitization of these crucial installments. Ships that grace our harbor in Msa have highly tech undersea radar systems that can detect the depth of the seabed, why not include location of the undersea cables?? Such cases of cables being cut by road contractors should be unheard of!

  2. Chapakiti you are right. Even GIS is advanced given the state of affairs right now. I attended a Kenya Power stakeholder workshop on its proposed undergrounding of its power lines in Nairobi which was attended by all the major engineers involved in infrastructure: Kenya Urban Roads Authority, Kenya Rural Roads Authority, Nairobi City Council City Engineers department, KPLC, Nairobi Water and Sewerage, the PC, telecom operators etc etc.

    What emerged is that there is just no organization. The City Planning department for some reason does not avail maps of existing infrastructure yet it is the one which issues permits, KURA grants the wayleaves but claims it does not have maps of what infrastructure exists as it only took over from the City Council recently...KRRA on the other hand says it writes to the likes of KPLC to share their plans so it can incorporate them in its road designs but the utility never responds...City Council on the other hand says people should take care of their own infrastructure......basically there is just no common information. Apparently, a joint committee was formed to look into sharing infrastructure in future developments but already some people claim shifting existing works is too expensive. The whole thing is just a mess.

  3. Quite insightful submit. Never believed that it was this simple after all. I had spent a very good deal of my time looking for someone to explain this subject clearly and you're the only one that ever did that. Kudos to you! Keep it up
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