Although the ICT sector was ‘treated miserably’ when the finances were being allocated in Uganda’s financial budget of 2016/17, the government through its ICT sector is making tremendous efforts in trying to upgrade and embrace the vital use of the internet. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are introducing slashes and combos on their packages day in, day out to try and lure the most audience to the side and we on the consumer are at times lost of choice.
ICT Minister Frank Tumwebaze while meeting a team of parliamentarians yesterday laid a plan to roll-out free wireless internet around Kampala starting October. Parliament has been directed to effect this innovation to ensure that WiFi hotspots are rolled out around Kampala. From the meeting led by the Minister of ICT Frank Tumwebaze, this blog learns that; Effective October, 2016, Uganda government through the National Information Technology Authority (NITA) will provide free WiFi (wireless internet) in Kampala city using the existing Fiber National backbone Infrastructure.
Free Internet only in the evenings for the start
So where does this leave the telocos? Having WiFi rolled around the city is not alien to us owing to the fact that Roke telecom through the Google’s project Link had laid down fiber cables to provide to Kampala dwellers WiFi , Roke currently limits the speeds to their WiFi mesh network to 1 Mbps and also the coverage was only limited to the central part of Kampala as the company tries expand to other areas using other different wireless technologies. The deal with Roke Telkom that saw Google deliver one the largest fiber infrastructure in and around Kampala only restricted to providing access to this fiber to interested telcos and other ISPs.
The WiFi that the government shall be delivering will be free but for a limited time only in the evenings (6pm to 6am). Stay tuned for more on this developing story.