The third phase of the National Backbone Infrastructure (NBI) and e-governance projects-designed to propel the high speed internet in the country- are set to commence towards the end of this year.
The project implemented by government’s National Information Technology Authority Uganda (NITA-U), will encompass the laying of optical fibre cables to Tanzania through Mutukula to the East African submarine cables and to Rwanda through the Katuna border town.
Speaking to the Daily Monitor, Ms Leonah Mbonimpa, the NITA-U spokesperson, said the project would take off after ongoing deliberations on the Auditor General’s report about the details of the Phase II project.
“I cannot tell you the exact date right now but it will start towards the end of this year and will run until 2014,” she noted.
Ms Mbonimpa added that the project will similarly involve effecting the “Last Mile Connectivity”-fixing missing cables through Masaka and Mbarara, among other districts and the construction of the Network Operations Centre (NOC).
The Auditor General, Mr John Muwanga, recently halted the internet project citing inefficiencies and froze the Shs23 billion meant for the next phase.
The NBI project was launched in 2011 as opposed to 2009 with the plan to interlink all its operations through the e-governance project, a support tool for the NBI.
The multi-billion contract was first awarded to Huawei – a Chinese technology firm under the supervision of NITA-Uganda. Following irregularities, the Parliament Committee on ICT, the National Information Technology Authority — that oversees the $106 million project —asked Chinese firm Huawei technologies to be audited.
The first two phases have seen the 1,400.76 kilometre fibre optic cable network laid with an established primary data centre and a Metropolitan Area Network (MAN).
More than 22 district headquarters across the country have also been connected and are currently benefiting directly from the project.