THE ministry of Information, ICT and Communication and the National Information Technology Authority Uganda (NITA U) commenced the trial run in Kampala’s central business district and parts of Entebbe late October.
Frank Tumwebaze, the Information, ICT and Communication Minister, who announced the development at Media Centre in Kampala, said: “We will be providing free Wi-Fi services between 6pm and 6 am on weekdays, and at the weekends. Wi-Fi will be free from Saturday 3pm through to Monday 6 am.” Mr Tumwebaze added.
He said free Wi-Fi services will be offered at the Kampala Capital City Authority Street Carnival on Sunday where revelers will enjoy the service throughout the day.
“Internet access is no longer a luxury but a necessity for all Ugandan citizens. The ICT sector must remain at the centre of this countrywide transformation, and steering Uganda to world class efficiency and productivity” Tumwebaze said.
He said the roll out of free Internet has been made possible because of investment in the National Backbone Infrastructure (NBI) whose 3rd phase is nearing completion.
The minister says rolling out NBI has helped government agencies increase productivity, efficiency and reduced costs of Internet bandwidth.
“Internet costs have reduced from $1200 to $300 per megabit per second per month in 2010 and 2016 respectively,” Tumwebaze said.
However, James Saka, Executive Director NITA U, said since the service would be shared between government agencies and the public, and the capacity provided will be up to 2 megabits per second and there would be restrictions to downloading videos, and access to ‘bad’ sites.