UUNET clients hooked up to high speed Internet


A user connects to the Internet via the Seacom fibre optic cable during its commissioning in July. Most consumers have yet to experience the benefits of faster connectivity from the fibre optic cables.

UUNET Kenya clients can now enjoy cheaper and faster Internet connections after the firm migrated them to Seacom, the international undersea fibre optic cable that arrived in the country in July.

The Internet solutions provider said it would double the bandwidth it supplied to its corporate customers at the same price rather than reduce the price and maintain their current consumption levels.

Consumers have been eagerly awaiting significant price drops in the market in the wake of the landing of two fibre optic cables —Teams and Seacom - in the country in July. Although some clients on the Seacom platform have began to enjoy its services, Teams is still undergoing tests.

UUNET Kenya is the latest Internet Service Provider (ISP) after AccessKenya to officially offer its clients connectivity to the undersea cable at a relatively lower rate by doubling of the internet capacity it provides to them.

“We have given our customers double capacity at the current price. However, we shall in future review our pricing once Teams and EASSy come on board,” says Mr Tom Omariba, the managing director of UUNET Kenya.

The firm has bought broadband capacity on the Seacom undersea cable, and plans to obtain additional capacity on the Teams and EASSy cable, the latter in which its parent company, MTN Business, holds a 30 per cent stake.

New platform
UUNET is one among a number of ISPs that bought capacity on the undersea cables. The others include Wananchi Group, AccessKenya and Jamii telecoms.

The Internet firm says its clients will experience price gains from the doubling of the capacity, as each will automatically receive twice the capacity they have been subscribing to from the company at no additional cost.

The UUNET move follows a similar migration by AccessKenya two weeks ago who also doubled their clients’ capacity.

Most end users have yet to experience faster Internet connectivity as most ISPs have not migrated their clients to the new platform. The delay is due to ongoing tests on the terrestrial cable.

ISPs are also giving clients time to beef up their security systems to cope with the increased risk associated with a high speed Internet connection.

ISPs buy the bandwidth wholesale from the undersea cable providers such as Seacom or Teams then parcel it and sell it to end users.

Mr Omariba said the internal migration involved installation and performance testing of equipment that will be used to manage data distribution from the fibre.

Whereas the Seacom and the Teams cables have already landed in the country, the Telkom Kenya cable dubbed Lion and the EASSy fibre optic cables are expected to arrive next year.

UUNET Kenya has over 600 top-tier corporate customers who will immediately benefit from the cost savings of moving from satellite connection to the fibre optic cable.

The company recently installed ultra-modern core and multi-service edge routers to boost its network and meet demand for fibre capacity obtained from Juniper Network.

In total, the company has spent Sh680 million to upgrade its equipment in order to take full advantage of the undersea cables.