31 December 2012

Kenya: TEAMS to See Two Week Outage As Cable Undergoes Four Month 'Preventive Maintenance'

Photo: Capital FM
Workers pulling the TEAMS fibre cable.

Preventive Maintenance works on the TEAMS (The East African Marine Systems) Cable aimed at reinforcement of the cable protection at Mombasa Off-Shore against external aggression are planned for January - April 2013. The actual downtime of the system will be from 03rd - 15th January 2013. The works carried out from 16th January - 30th April 2013 will not be service affecting. The Preventive Maintenance Works have been designed to reduce chances of cable damage by external aggressors, following the couple of cable cuts experienced by TEAMS cable at Mombasa, early this year. This is to assure our esteemed customers that every effort will be made to minimize system downtime and service interruption.

Commenting on the planned Preventive Maintenance Works, TEAMS General Manager Joel Tanui said, "This planned cable reinforcement works are designed to increase resilience of the TEAMS cable against external aggression by ship vessels and fishing boats. The timing for first week of January 2013 has been specifically chosen to coincide with the slack period at the beginning of the year to minimize impact on live traffic. However, only the first two weeks will have the heaviest impact on traffic with complete downtime (03rd - 15th January 2013).

During this time of complete system downtime, customers are likely to experience slow internet speeds because of bandwidth constraints as result of limited traffic restoration via other cables. Thereafter, the remaining protective works will be carried out after the system is re-powered and traffic restored. TEAMS kindly urges our esteemed customers to bear with us during this time of preventive maintenance; aimed at improvement of the quality of service and availability of the cable. All the preventive maintenance works are estimated to take between 6-8 weeks, subject to favourable sea weather conditions, with every effort being made to reduce the overall time as much as possible.

It is estimated that the Preventive Maintenance Works on TEAMS cable, including costs for temporary traffic restoration via other cables during the TEAMS cable outage will about USD 5.6 Million (Kshs 480 Million), excluding loss of business as a result of heavily constrained bandwidth supply to contracted customers.

A landmark public-private partnership, TEAMS is the premier undersea cable system serving the entire East African region. Besides the Government of Kenya, the other shareholders in the TEAMS consortium include Safaricom, Jamii Telecom, Wananchi Group, Essar Kenya, Kenya Data Networks, Access Kenya, Telkom Orange and Bandwidth & Cloud Services.

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