The Government of Uganda through NITA Uganda finalized the extension of internet connectivity in the West Nile region on May 11th with President Museveni officially launching the Fourth Phase of the National Back bone infrastructure project (NBI) at an event held in Koboko district.
In the Fourth Phase, NBI extends to the districts of Pakwach, Nebbi, Arua, Yumbe, Koboko, Adjumani, Katakwi and the boarder points of, Oraba, Vurra and Mpondwe. NITA Uganda has successfully completed the implementation of three phases of the NBI project connecting 39 districts.
James Saaka, Executive Director at NITA Uganda at the ceremony said, “Phase Four will bring public services closer to the people with 100 government offices in the areas of West Nile and Karamoja connected.”
President Museveni noted it was important for West Nile to have underground internet cables because the facility would make work faster, efficient and easier.
“These computers that work like human brains need to be connected by underground cables. We already did this in Kampala. We need to have the same done for West Nile. This is very important because it will help auditors and accountants get international jobs without moving to other countries,” said Museveni.
The offices to be connected include; local governments, hospitals, schools, universities that are within a 1km radius from the Missing Links cable route or Point of Presence.
In addition, the phase will provide new international connections to neighboring countries including South Sudan and eastern DRC which will improve access, reliability and competitiveness of broadband services both domestically and regionally.
The phase will also help to position Uganda as a regional communications transit hub, including laying the groundwork for an eventual backbone connection between the submarine cables on the east and west coasts of Africa.
NITA Uganda with funding from the World Bank has implemented the National Backbone Infrastructure and eGovernment Infrastructure (NBI/EGI) project to connect districts and towns across the country. This will include government offices via an optical fibre cable network so as to reduce the cost of the internet.
As a result of these connections the cost of internet of across government entities has progressively reduced from USD$1,200 per Mbps monthly USD$70 per Mbps monthly.
NITA Uganda claims it is providing the cheapest internet at a cost of USD$70 per Mbps monthly — translating to 70% cheaper offering than what other ISPs in the Ugandan market.
The overall objective of the project is to; create a secure high-speed network that connects all Government MDAs, District Local Governments, Municipal Councils, Hospital, and Schools — lower the cost of communication across government and spur the development of online Government services.[related-posts]