Tech body refutes media allegations on high govt internet costs

ICT ministry Permanent Secretary Vincent Bagiire (right) hands over a computer set to an unidentified woman. File photo.

KAMPALA–The National Information Technology Authority Uganda (NITA-U) has refuted media allegation that government ministries, departments and agencies pay $300 (about Shs1 million) per 1Mps for internet connectivity.

In a statement NITA U issued Wednesday, the authority said the allegations published in some sections of the media are false and without merit.

The authority noted that there is a planned reduction in the cost of internet to government offices that will take effect in July 2018, to $50 (about Shs175,000) per 1Mbps.

Since 2011, NITA-U has successfully completed three phases of the National Backbone Infrastructure (NBI).

Connected towns in Uganda
A number of towns in Uganda have been connected, with over 2,400km of fiber laid across Uganda.

The towns connected include Kampala, Entebbe, Mukono, Jinja, Bombo, Busia, Tororo, Mbale, Malaba, Kumi, Soroti, Lira, Gulu, Elegu, Masindi and Kyenjojo. Others are Fort Portal, Kasese, Bushenyi, Masaka, Mutukula, Mbarara, Kabale and the Katuna Border Post.

Additionally, extension of the NBI is planned for the following districts in West Nile; Pakwach, Nebbi, Arua, Yumbe, Koboko and Adjumani.

NITA-U plans by the end financial year17/18 to have connected 730 MDAs and Local Governments to the backbone.
“There are currently 321 MDAs and Local Governments (LGs) already connected to the NBI.

This means that more MDA/LGs will access reliable internet at a low cost, which translates into significant cost savings for the Government of Uganda,” the statements reads.

NITA-U said its committed to digitizing Uganda by reducing the cost of internet connectivity, which is a significant barrier in encouraging the use of Internet across the country.

“This effort has been deliberate and we are happy to have led the industry in reducing the cost of connectivity to Government offices by over 84% since 2010, when 1Mbps cost a government office $1200 to the current cost of $70 for 1Mbps,” the authority explained.

NITA-U has made efforts to obtain savings through consolidation of procurements, to avoid incurring costs of manholes and building entries.

It has also technically made provisions for other ways of accessing the optical fibre cable i.e. through hand-holes to further reduce costs incurred in operating and maintaining this infrastructure. As seen in the pictures NITA-U does quality work which is commensurate to the cost.



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