Kenya is set to double the internet capacity for the east African region with the installation of a fifth undersea fibre optic cable. The country’s Information and Communication Permanent Secretary, Bitange Ndemo, announced that a contract has been signed with a Middle-Eastern company to lay the undersea cable.
Currently, Kenya has four undersea cables that cumulatively provide a capacity of about 8.56 TBps. With the laying of the fifth cable, Kenya’s bandwidth capacity will double to more than 15 terabytes per second (TBps).
“The capacity we have will be used up in the next five years. We will have high demand as we move to digitise schools and hospitals,” said Ndemo.
Kenya’s usage of the internet capacity is yet to reach the critical mass that would directly precipitate lower prices — currently, the country only uses 6% of its bandwidth capacity. Its fibre connection has been threatened by frequent cuts that have left sections of the country in an Internet blackout.
Dr Ndemo said the government is in talks with the investor to find an alternative landing point in Mombasa, creating a redundancy for the other cables.
“We don’t want them to land at the same place as the other four cables. If they land elsewhere, it provides a backup,” he said.
Ndemo had earlier revealed that a project to provide every Internet user with digital identities would be implemented in a bid to combat rising cyber crime.