Safaricom has announced partial restoration of data services, following a cut that occurred on the critical undersea cable over the weekend. Maritime officials confirmed that a shipping vessel caused the cable cut at around midday on Saturday February 25, 2012.

This  resulted to low internet speeds during the weekend as the firm actively shifted over to alternative routes. Speaking with journalists this morning Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore said: “By yesterday night (Sunday) we had moved all internet traffic to alternative routes.” Other services affected by the cut included international voice calls and Blackberry services.

To remedy the situation, Safaricom has successfully moved all its internet traffic to other routes, principally the Seacom undersea cable, resulting in partial recovery and resumption of services. Safaricom has expressed its concern over the impact of this i******t on data services in the region. The cable is one of the three routes for international connectivity in the East African region.

“We have been advised that owing to the highly specialized nature of the repair work, an external team has been dispatched to Mombasa and that the operation may take as long as three weeks,” said Bob.

The East African Marine Systems (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, Essar, Kenya Data Networks, Access Kenya, Telkom Orange and Bandwidth & Cloud Services. According to a report from TEAMS General Manager Joel Tanui the cable is expected be fully operational within the next three weeks. Tanui added that the cut was caused by a ship off the coast of Mombasa.

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