Seacom downtime brought back bad memories..KDN

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Now i dread going to the office, reason being the slow internet. KDN internet crapped back to the old dark slow snail speed due to Seacom downtime between Mumbai and Mombasa.

At 09:19 GMT, 5 July 2010, SEACOM experienced a submarine failure resulting in service downtime between Mumbai and Mombasa. Current investigations indicate that a repeater has failed on segment 9 of the SEACOM cable, which is offshore to the north of Mombasa. This unexpected failure affects traffic towards both India and Europe. Traffic within Africa is not affected (i.e. – traffic to African websites, such as .co.za)

Traffic within Africa is not affected? What? Nothing is working here and everyone is mad as hell. Can’t send simple email with attachment document, can’t upload files, can’t download files, can’t open two tabs at the same time.  Getting tired of this….

Whilst the repair process itself will only take a few hours, the overall process may last a minimum of 6-8 days. The actual duration is unpredictable due to external factors such as transit time of the ship, weather conditions and time to locate the cable. For this reason, the estimated duration of this repair remains uncertain.

Huh, 6-8 days with a disclaimer of unpredictability of the duration! That means if your ISP rely on Seacom, brace yourself for a long period of suffering. The funny thing is how the mind works. It is easy to condition the minds to adapt and enjoy better, faster, sweeter things while it is so hard to do it in the opposite direction.

All a long, the ISPs in Kenya maintained that the cost of accessing the internet would remain high because they have to retain Bandwidth redundancy from different upstream suppliers including the Satellite.  Now it seems some like KDN only rely on Seacom. I am surprised,  I thought they have shares on TEAMS leave alone buying the Bandwidth.   Call it deceiving the public to keep charging them to death.

Now we know why Multihoming is extremely important.  Sometime due to causes beyond their control  upstream providers would have either a total outage or an issue that will affect its ability to supply adequate bandwidth to its downstream ISP customers. The redundancy means that if one of the suppliers has an outage, an ISP still has  other suppliers able to provide continuity of bandwidth supply. And we are lucky we have Seacom, TEAMS  working and the expected commencement of EASSEY anytime now!

Seacom suffered similar downtime in April when a segment on the Sea-Me-We 4 cable failed. That should have been a warning  shot to ISPs relying on Seacom without some sort of redundancy bandwidth.

Satellite…oooo oo very slow, why.. The distance covered. The journey is too long, you have to go up to the satellite, then back down to the service provider, then back up to the satellite, and finally back down to work station.

What a difference one year can be. It is like a century ago since the coming of fiber optic cables ..mmmmh

What is your opinion on the topic?
Kennedy Kachwanya
Lead Blogger at Kachwanya.com
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Kennedy Kachwanya is a technology blogger interested in mobile phones both smart and dumb, mobile apps, mobile money, social media, startups ecosystem and digital Savannah. New media must not forget the strength of old tech.
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