Government to offer free Internet to Kampala, Entebbe
Internet users around Kampala and Entebbe will save money on buying data as government introduces free Internet, effective October 1.
Through the National Information Technology Authority–Uganda (NITA-U), free Wi-Fi will be offered within the selected locations.
“This service will be available for users from 6pm and 6am. To access this service, look out for the hotspots broadcasting #MYUG,” Ms Leonah Mbonimpa, NITA-U’s corporate communication officer, in an interview on Tuesday, said.
Ms Mbonimpa said registered users will login using their preferred username and password.
“Simply sign up via the access page by providing details of your first and last name, email address, mobile number, preferred username, access password, date of birth and sex,” she said.
Responding to the query as to why they have picked on Kampala and some parts of Entebbe where there fewer users at that specified period, Ms Mbonimpa said additional residential areas would be covered using a phased approach.
“A detailed hotspot location list will be shared with the public on our various social media platforms as we roll out the service,” Ms Mbonimpa said.
She said they were offering free Wi-Fi now to make use of Internet bandwidth that is not being utilised by the government offices after official working hours.
As far as security is concerned, Ms Mbonimpa said NITA-U has implemented industry standard security measures to provide a secure service for the government departments and ministries whose bandwidth will be used, as well as for users who log on to the service.
“We (NITA-U) shall be monitoring usage when one logins to flag suspicious usage patterns and access will be checked through a firewall that protects the end users against an Internet threat,” she said.
Reacting to the initiative, Mr Henry Kimera, the executive secretary Consumer Education Trust (Consent), said: “It’s a great initiative to facilitate consumer access to ICTs, information and reduction of digital gap.”
However, he said consumers should not be given a raw deal in terms of quality of service and experience in name of free services.
The NITA-U is extending the National Backbone Infrastructure to cover the entire country.
Priority is being placed on universities, schools, hospitals and local governments, which reach a large number of users accessing critical information and social service data off the Internet. Redundant sessions will be timed out after 30 minutes.
According to NITA-U, the free Wi-Fi users will enjoy maximum speed of up to 2mbps (Megabits per second) which will meet the basic Internet access needs and complement access provided by Commercial Internet Providers.
In order to address the traffic which might come with the free Wi-fi, Ms Mbonimpa said the National Backbone Infrastructure has two rings that offer bi-directional protection to traffic carried on the network thus providing redundancy and reliability.
Source; Daily Monitor