KENYAN STATE TO RECLAIM INTERNET HUB
The Government has taken steps to repossess the hub used by Universal Satspace and whose disconnection has caused internet disruptions in parts of the country.
The Ministry of Information and Communications has written to the Attorney-General seeking legal advice to get back the hub used by Universal Satspace for Very Small Aperture Terminal (Vsat) services to the Postal Corporation of Kenya (PCK). The PS, Dr Bitange Ndemo, wants the Attorney-General to state how the ministry can take possession of the hub which was financed by the public.
In a letter dated September 8, 2006, the PS notes that Gilat Alldean, the local agents for Universal Satspace, had switched off the Vsat service for PCK although it did not have a contract with the State corporation.
The letter addressed to the solicitor-general, Wanjuki Muchemi, states that Universal Satspace had signed an agreement with the Government and not PCK. The contract for the provision of bandwidth communication for PCK was signed on July 11, 2002, between the Treasury, the Transport and Communication ministry and Universal Satspace.
Further, Dr Ndemo notes that an inspection by the PCK board of directors at Gilat Alldean offices in Westlands, Nairobi, had revealed that Universal Satspace was using the hub to serve organisations other than the State corporation.
Should the Government move in to repossess the hub, many organisations are likely to be left without data and internet services or will have to move to another service provider.
Some of the companies which are served by Gilat Alldean include Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB), Department of Defence, National Security Intelligence Service, the Meteorological Department and Uchumi supermarkets.