Kenya’s PS Ndemo confirms Fibre Optic Project to Begin in 2009

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Work on an undersea optic fibre communication system will begin in January 2009 and should be complete by June of the same year. Information permanent secretary, Bitange Ndemo told envoys that the project, known as the East Africa Marine Systems (Teams), would be completed on schedule.

Already, he said Alcatel, which won the tender to make the cable, had begun work, and the government had paid it the first instalment.

In the current budget which ends on June 30 the project was allocated Sh1 billion. Other funding is supposed to come from a consortium of local and international investors who are partners in the project.

Dr Ndemo denied media reports saying that Teams had stalled, after failing to attract sufficient funding. He said some of the foreign firms had been dropped to pave way for local participation in the project.

The PS blamed the 'erroneous' information on the firms that had been dropped from Teams, claiming they were out to create doubts about the feasibility of the project. He added that the terrestrial cable being laid under the National Fibre Optic Project, that covers all districts, will be completed this year.

"The national terrestrial cable will be completed by August and by next year we will be hooked to the undersea fibre optic cable," he said.

The Nation