Kenya is one of the countries in Africa that will be part of a submarine fibre optic cable linking the continent with Asia and Europe that is fronted by Chinese firms.
The 511km Pakistan and East Africa Connecting Europe (Peace) cable network connects Kenya to Pakistan, Djibouti and Europe through an entry point in Nyali, Mombasa.
“The project will consist of marine and terrestrial component,” said the National Environment Management Authority in a notice inviting the public to make submissions.
“The marine component entails installation and a submarine cable for distance totalling 498.973km and the total cable length is 511.7km. The cable is expected to traverse along the marine reserve which is within the jurisdiction of the Kenya Wildlife Service.”
The Peace undersea fibre cable is a 12,000 cable system developed through a trilateral agreement between PCCW Global, Orange and the consortium Peace Cable International, which includes Chinese networks firm Huawei Marine, China-ASEAN Information Habour, China Construction Bank and Tropic Science.
“Increased global demand for connectivity is resulting in connection on the busy route,” said PCCW Global in a statement last year announcing the tripartite deal.
“In addition, Africa has the fastest-growing youth population in the world and is a market particularly ripe for investment because of the rapidly growing number of internet users and a corresponding increased demand for connectivity.”
It said the Peace cable system will provide the shortest data route from North Asia to Europe, combined with exceptionally low latency “which is vitally important for a wide array of commercial and consumer application”.
The new fibre cable comes in the back of increased investment in the regional broadband infrastructure market as companies jostle to expand their foothold in the market.
Last week, IPS Cable systems revealed it had bid to increase its stake in Seacom Capital, the firm that runs Africa’s premier undersea cable Seacom that connects South Africa, Mozambique, Kenya and Tanzania.