That was a weekend of slow internet and Mpesa outage. The problem on the Safaricom network affected Data, M-PESA, Voice,and Wimax. According to the Safaricom CEO Mr.Bobcollymore, the problem was due to fiber cut somewhere at the coast. So who is exactly doing the fiber cuts? Are they Somali pirates? I guess not, are they Kenyans selling the copper? Are operators doing the dirty work of the sabotage?
Whatever the motivation, whatever the reasoning cutting fiber is plain stupid. The worst part is where it is being done as a sabotage from disgruntled employees or rivals in the industry as alleged by Some operators in the past. Ok..ok..oook, why on earth would a sane whole network operator like Orange, or Airtel or AccessKenya cut the fiber connection for Safaricom? Competition can be stiff, but we enjoy when the industry players take on each other through open clean methods, like price reduction (Airtel on Safaricom), promotion(what we see with the breweries). It is fun, clean, and the country gain from it but in the case of cables!!!….smh..
During the Launch of the cables sometime back President Kibaki compared it to the arrival of railway line years back. Meaning at this moment the connection to the outside world through the cables is absolutely important to the very survival of our economy. Straight to the point anybody cutting the cables is an enemy of Kenyan people and should be dealt with ruthlessly.
If you have been paying attention, the Government officials especially PS. Ndemo, he has been singing the song of Kenya moving towards digital eceonomy. True to the point, we have seen in the last two years or so, economic impacts and benefits of faster Internet in Kenya:
- ICT sector growth; No doubt in the coming years ICT will replace Agriculture as the mainstay for the economy
- Productivity gains; Working has never been easy, in or out of the office.
- Transformation of how individuals, business, government and other parts of the society work, communicate and interact
But all that good work might not take us far with the current daily outage, simialr to what we are used to see with Kenya Power.
Then there is Vandalism, where the copper in particular are cut or stolen to be sold, i have no idea where to! There was a joke or probably a statement during Microsoft Media IGF workshop, that Kenya is among the leading exporter of copper although we produce none. How now?
Safaricom Management are considering the microwave although they feel it is a move backwards.
That said where are the Police men and women to ensure that nobody mess around with the cables? Seriously, whatever the law says it should be amended such that anybody found cutting the cables is jailed for life.. ..