The fifth submarine cable has landed in Kenya raising expectations for improved internet speeds and connectivity in the country.
DARE 1 (Djibouti African Regional Express) is a 36-Terabyte undersea internet cable which is connecting Kenya to Djibouti in a 5,000-kilometre stretch.
This new fibre optic cable has placed at the apex Telkom Kenya as a data carrier in the region.
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The Sh8.6 billion project will boost access to data in the region improving greatly on the lag and latency which slow internet usage by making it expensive to most users.
Telkom Kenya commenced the survey for the DARE 1 cable interconnecting Djibouti, Somalia and Kenya in late 2018 with the State Department of ICT, Telkom Kenya and partners concluding the first raft of commercial negotiations in Djibouti, paving way for the manufacturing process and associated material in February 2019.
The cable comes at a time when most cables are coming to the end of their lifeline, which usually ranges between 15-20 years.
It also provides a redundant international connection on newer and more reliable technology and the biggest capacity in the country which is an essential boost to the region’s digital economy.
Telkom Kenya owns a 23% stake in TEAMs, a 5000km undersea fibre optic cable through Fujairah, UAE; a 10% stake in LION2 another 2700km undersea fibre optic cable through Mauritius.
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It also owns a 2.6% stake in the East African Submarine System Cable and manages the National Optic Fibre Backbone, an inland fibre optic cable network running through Kenyan counties.
The cable which will be ready for the market in June this year took the engineers 45 days to lay.
According to Shipping and Maritime PS Nancy Karigithu, the cable will open wider the access of Kenya’s current network.
She added that it will also help to augment Mombasa’s position as a regional hub.
With the landing in Mombasa of the DARE 1 sub-sea cable which is a 3-fibre pair, Telkom is now tasked with the laying and managing the inland fibre optic cable connecting various regions across the country.
The cable has a lifespan of 20 years and it comes after The East African Marine System (TEAMS), SEACOM, Eastern African Submarine Cable System (EASsy) and Madagascar linked, Lion2.
DARE 1 will connect Kenya and the Great Lake countries from June 2020 with PS Karigithu adding that the new cable will provide resilient and secure network connectivity to Kenya affordably with plans to expand to remote areas in the country through community information Hubs.