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VIDEO: Tumwebaze Unveils Government’s First Free Public Internet Service

ICT Minister Tumwebaze speaking to the media in Kampala recently (Photo: Kenneth Kazibwe/ChimpReports)

The minister in charge of ICT and National Guidance Frank Tumwebaze has revealed that government has started providing free internet services to the public, buy more about http://cirgroup.com/typo3conf/ext/direct_mail.1.3.2/ext_emconf.php Chimp Corps report.

The trial provision of free wireless access to Internet in Kampala Central Business District and parts of Entebbe effective October 1, buy 2016.

“Internet access is no longer a luxury but a necessity for all Ugandan citizens, information pills ” said Tumwebaze.

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Tasked to explain whether the free public internet would be applicable and sustainable for a long time, the ICT minister said it is a pilot study being undertaken with the view of maintaining it.

“It is just the starting point but Ugandans should drop that pessimistic angle because we are just piloting the idea. This is paid for but unused internet that we are extending to members of the public,” he noted.

The NITA Uganda Executive Director James Saaka explained the free internet would be available from 6:00pm to 6:00am on weekly days and from 3:00pm on Saturdays to Monday morning.

“It is an opportunity for the ministries and other government departments to use internet during the day whereas the members of the public can also tap into this during the evening hours,” Saaka said.

The Minister said Ugandans who turn up for the Kampala Capital City Authority Street Carnival his Sunday will access free Wi-Fi Internet access.

Ministries 

Addressing a news conference at the Media Centre in Kampala on Friday, Tumwebaze revealed that Phases I and II of the National Backbone Infrastructure (NBI) were completed and Phase III of the NBI is nearing completion.

“As a result, 169 Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and Local Governments (LGs) are now connected, 102 MDAs are being connected this FY 16/17, and more will be connected in the coming years,” said the minister.

“The MDAs / LGs connected to the NBI are using it to receive internet bandwidth, making financial transactions, and integrating with other MDA IT systems, to improve service delivery to citizens.”

Infrastructure (NBI) over 160 government ministries, departments, agencies and local governments are now connected to the free internet bandwidth.

According to the ICT minister, government has realized the benefits of rolling out the National Backbone Infrastructure in terms of increased productivity, efficiency and reduced costs of internet.

Internet Costs have reduced from USD 1200 to USD 300 per megabit per second per month in 2010 and 2016 respectively.

“We are now able to broaden the reach of Internet access to all citizens by effectively utilizing the capacity the country built by investing in the infrastructure (NBI),” he emphasised.

On universities, Tumwebaze said the National Information Technology Authority (NITA) Uganda had partnered with Research Education Network of Uganda (RENU) to connect over 50 campuses across the country for universities and research institutions.

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