During the StoryMoja festival, I facilitated a session that was aptly named “Fibre is here…now what” .It was quite a lively and informative session if I say so myself. The benefits of fibre are immense especially when looking at the delivery of better communication services and better content experiences. Thing is… everyone seems to be digging up Nairobi…Access Kenya, Kenya Data Networks, Jamii Telkom and Telkom Kenya.
No infrastructure operator wants to ride on a competitors pipes because of what most will term as lack of quality assurance and mitigation, but what I view as ego trips…mine is bigger than yours. Not that it matters anyway, we live in a capitalistic marketplace…build it and they will come. It however seems that certain players are out to play a bad game if they perceive loss in market share or are tired of playing catch up in a race that will reward very handsomely the first one to the finish line. Kenya Data Networks is the largest network infrastructure company in the region. KDN is the carrier of the carriers not to mention that all the international capacity routed out of the country via Seacom is carried by them. Being number one must be hard, because number 2, 3,4 and 5 must be green with envy.
Safaricom went offline from 11am and 4pm on Monday 02, paralyzing messaging, and communication and money transfer ; after KDN suffered multiple cuts on its fibre network. The calls you make on your line are essentially routed to the base station or other network via these links which have immense capacity. The fact that 5 cuts happened on the carrier to the carrier’s network within such close timings to each other can only point to sabotage regardless of the angle you choose to look at it.
When these guys go digging around the city and its environs, they do have maps that tell them what lies beneath. And KDN’s cables are laid at least 1.5 meters below the ground. Someone knew what they were doing and went…ooops!
Only a couple of days ago an employee from one of the infrastructure providers where the GOK has shareholding was caught vandalizing another players infrastructure.
Sad when business practice gets to this level. Whoever is orchestrating this needs to realize that the consumer will not lose faith in the affected operator but in the product itself, meaning that they are destroying the very market that they are willing to play dirty to get a piece of.