Kenya’s AccessKenya and UUNet Secure international routes for redundancy


AccessKenya and UUNet have secured five international routes to guard against downtime due to fibre connectivity disruptions. Providing multiple paths for redundancy purposes means that their clients' links with the outside world will not be affected even if one of the cables is cut.

The undersea cables are prone to shark attacks which may lead to losses if there are no other alternative routes to connect them to other parts of the world. While AccessKenya has secured three such alternative routes, UUNET on the other hand has secured two.

Both companies offer internet services mostly to corporate organisations with either branches spread across the globe or doing business with partners all over. Before contracting any of these Internet service providers, most organisation usually demand a service level agreement which, among other things, outlines the uptimes.

Failure to meet these agreed uptimes means that the ISPs will have to compensate for any business lost due to downtimes which may amount to millions of shillings. With the anticipated battle in the data segment due to the entry of big telecommunication players like Safaricom and Telkom's Kenya Orange, assurance of quality of service to customers thus becomes a key differentiating factor.

AccessKenya managing director Jonathan Somen said their customers are now assured of international redundancy on fibre. AccessKenya has capacity in both the Seacom cable and Teams cables and has provided alternatives routes for both cables.

"We believe this is a significant value proposition to the market and redundant service through these two fibre connections are now connected for all our clients, whether they connect to us via local fibre, wireless, copper or any other local technology," said Somen. This comes shortly after AccessKenya's announced they had been chosen by Tata to host their Tier 1 Point of Presence (PoP) in Kenya.

With the commissioning of our TEAMS cable, AccessKenya now have three diverse paths to the public internet - it has capacity on Seacom landing in London, capacity on Seacom landing in Mumbai and capacity on TEAMS landing in Fujairah.

By landing part of their capacity in Mumbai and interconnecting with Tata's global network there, AccessKenya has removed the issue of both Seacom and TEAMS using the SMW4 fibre cable to London. In the event that SMW4 has a problem, AccessKenya's customers will be operational through their connection in Mumbai.

Last week, UUNET Kenya acquired a second international Point of Presence (POP) in London. The other international Point of Presence (PoP) that the company has had since 2005 is located in Fuchsstadt, Germany.

The Managing Director, Tom Omariba, said the POP will reduce the number of hops (time loss) its corporate clients take to access the internet and their global corporate data networks. "In addition to our customers accessing the Internet faster, we will be able to offer additional new solutions like the international Private Line Circuits (IPLC) private network," said Omariba.

The company recently migrated all its corporate customers from satellite powered internet to fibre optic cable, doubling their bandwidth and increasing internet speeds in the process. The migration of UUNET's clients to fibre came after the installation of an equipment purchased from US based Juniper Networks as part of its Sh750 million ($10 million) investment in system upgrading.

Business Daily