KENYA’S TEAMS FIBRE PROJECT LOOKS SET TO DRAW IN OTHER COUNTRIES

Internet

At the East African Broadband Workshop in Kigali on 8-9 May, five Governments signed a communiqué that may well be the first step on the road to the widening out of participation in the TEAMS fibre project to all East African Community countries: these now include: Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. Signatories included three Ministers (Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda) and two senior officials (Burundi and Tanzania). The event was organised by the Rwandan Ministry of Infrastructure and the US Digital Freedom Initiative.

The communiqué noted that:”Progress must be made to bring undersea fibre optic cable systems and backbone connections to the region as quickly as possible.” In a diplomatically worded statement clearly aimed at the faltering NEPAD sponsored project it stated that all fibre projects “should aim to meet the requirements of all public and private stakeholders.”

The Kenyan Government requested the nomination of technical teams from East African countries and said it would brief regional governments about the technical, legal and investment details in 4-6 weeks time. Furthermore, the signatories agreed that the EAC should adopt “an open access policy for backbone networks and agree that they should be operated on a non-discriminatory manner based on a cost model that is sustainable, which supports regional interconnectivity and allows for high end usage that is affordable to the end users within three months.”