Repairs on Kenya web cable to take three weeks

Feb 28, 2012
Workers haul part of a fibre optic cable onto the shore at the Kenyan port town of Mombasa on June 12, 2009 as the undersea fibre optic cable bringing broadband Internet connectivity to east Africa reached the Kenyan coast from the United Arab Emirates. The cable, which was that was sliced by a ship's anchor in the Kenyan port of Mombasa, will be repaired in about three weeks, an official said.

An undersea fibre optic Internet cable that was sliced by a ship's anchor in the Kenyan port of Mombasa will be fully repaired in about three weeks, an official said Tuesday.

The cable was severed Saturday by a ship dropping anchor in the congested port of Mombasa, east Africa's main marine hub, in an area that is generally off-limits.

The 5,000-kilometre (3,000-mile) broadband cable, known as The East African Marine System (TEAMS), was laid in 2008 and 2009 and stretches across the from Mombasa to the .

Joel Tanui, who heads TEAMS, said up to 10 percent of the cable's function had already been restored, enough for crucial services such as banking.

"These works are expected to take about three weeks, with maximum effort being made to reduce the downtime and its impact" Tanui said.

The cable is one of three underwater pipes that supply high-speed data to . It was built at a cost of $130 million (100 million euros) as a joint venture between the Kenyan government and private sector.

The cable's slicing has caused considerable delays in in Kenya and neighbouring countries.

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