Govt to install ‘free’ Wi- Fi hotspots across Uganda 

Government says it has already installed 600 Wi-Fi hotspots, 300 of which are in regional cities while another 300 in Kampala. Photo | file  

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The free Wi-Fi hotspots installation programme will be rolled out in every location where government’s national backbone infrastructure exists. 

Government will install 2,000 Wi-Fi hotspots across Uganda in a move that will extend internet access in far-flung areas. 

Speaking during the final review of the Regional Communications Infrastructure Programme that started in 2016, and ends this year in Uganda, Dr Hatwib Mugasa, the National Information Technology Authority executive director, said this is part of the Uganda Digital Acceleration Programme that is awaiting Cabinet approval. 

The free Wi-Fi hotspots installation programme will be rolled out in every location where government’s national backbone infrastructure exists. 

“We would like to provide free internet to selected areas at selected times. The internet that we are providing will be utilised by government during working hours, and by citizens after working hours, and weekends,” he said, added that the internet will also be used during emergencies for people applying for government services such as national identification registration. 

“Right now, we have free internet hotspots in Kampala, Entebbe and Jinja. But we now want to spread it across many other districts,” he noted. 

Government has so far installed 600 Wi-Fi hotspots with 300 of these situated in regional cities and another 300 in Kampala. 

Whereas Dr Mugasa did not comment on the reliability of Wi-Fi hotspots, it remains an issue that will need to be resolved. 

Monitor’s independent examination of the free Wi-Fi hotspots provided within and in places around the city such as at Kyambogo University indicates the network is sometimes unstable. 

The $75m the Regional Communications Infrastructure Programme, funded by the World Bank has registered significant gains with government’s plan to extend Wi-Fi across the country based on extension of the geographic reach of broadband connectivity across the country. 

The project has contributed to the extension of 764 kilometres of Optical Fibre Cable added on-to the Government National Backbone Infrastructure.  

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