Gender, Labour Minister Frank Tumwebaze.

The government announced on Friday that it will provide free wi-fi in the capital, Kampala and in Entebbe beginning Sunday.

Minister for ICT Frank Tumwebaze says the country may be a first for the East African Community – the regional grouping of Uganda, Kenyan, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzanian and South Sudan.

The Government of Uganda’s public communications team tweeted the coverage map: @FrankTumwebazek: Not to brag but we may be the first ones to try out this #MYUG

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But there are some restrictions. It will only be available from 6pm to 6am on weekdays and 3pm to 6am on weekends – so that people do not use it during office hours.

And Mr Tumwebaze added that some sites will be blocked.

However, it isn’t clear how restricted the Wi-Fi will be.

PRESS RELEASE

Sept 30, 2016 at Uganda Media Centre, 10 am
FREE PUBLIC INTERNET ACCESS (WIFI)
As pledged by H.E the President in the NRM manifesto, the Ministry of Information Communication Technology and National Guidance through its mandated agency National Information Technology Authority Uganda (NITA-U) has commenced the trial provision of free wireless access to Internet in Kampala Central Business District and parts of Entebbe effective October 1, 2016.
Internet access is no longer a luxury but a necessity for all Ugandan citizens. The ICT sector must remain at the center of this country-wide transformation steering Uganda to world class efficiency and productivity.
With H.E Excellency the President’s support, Phases I and II of the National Backbone Infrastructure (NBI) were completed and Phase III of the NBI is nearing completion. As a result, 169 Ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) and local governments (LGs) are now connected, 102 MDAs are being connected this FY 16/17, and more will be connected in the coming years. The MDAs / LGs connected to the NBI are using it to receive internet bandwidth, making financial transactions, and integrating with other MDA IT systems, to improve service delivery to citizens.
Over time, we have seen the benefits of rolling out the National Data Backbone Infrastructure (NBI) in terms of increased productivity, efficiency and reduced costs of internet bandwidth. Internet Costs have reduced from USD 1200 to USD 300 per megabit per second per month in 2010 and 2016 respectively. We are now able to broaden the reach of Internet access to all citizens by effectively utilizing the capacity the country built by investing in the infrastructure (NBI).
NITA also partnered with the Research Education Network of Uganda (RENU) to connect over 50 campuses across the country for Universities and Research Institutions, as part of the programme to connect targeted user groups to the NBI. These targeted user groups are receiving internet bandwidth at about USD 130 per Mbps.
We will be providing free Wi-Fi services at the Kampala Capital City Authority Street Carnival this Sunday October 2, 2016 for a full day.
Subsequently we will be providing free Wi-Fi services between 6:00 pm and 6:00 am on week-days, over the weekends; Wi-Fi will be free from Saturday 3:00 pm through to Monday 6:00 am.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank and congratulate the Executive Director -NITA-U and his technical officers for working hard to achieve this great milestone as we struggle to turn Uganda into a digital society.
I would like to wish you all a festive and pleasant experience at the Kampala Capital City Authority street carnival and encourage all citizens to explore the new world of opportunities being offered through free Wi-Fi Internet access.
We will officially launch the Wi-Fi service at the end of October 2016.
END