Greater Masaka Prepares for High Speed Internet Bandwidth

1692 Views Masaka, Uganda

In short
The second phase of the Project linked Uganda to neighbors Kenya in the east and South Sudan to the north with a total of 1400.734kms of Optical Fiber Cable laid in the districts of Busia, Tororo, Mbale, Malaba, Kumi, Soroti, Lira, Gulu, Elegu, Masindi, Kyenjojo, Fort Portal, Kasese, Bushenyi and Mbarara.

Greater Masaka region will soon be connected onto an Optical Fibre Cable based Network that will provide access to high speed internet bandwidth at reduced costs.

The assurance came as the National Information Technology Authority-NITA-Uganda embarks on phase III of the National Backbone Infrastructure (NBI) and the e-Government Infrastructure (EGI) project which seeks to extend connectivity to the towns of Masaka, Mutukula, Mbarara, Kabale and the Katuna Border Post.

The Uganda NBI is part of an East Africa-wide terrestrial fiber-optic cable, which will cover 15,600 km linking the five countries of Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi when complete.

James Saaka, the Executive Director of NITA-U says that they intend to connect key government agencies, like Police, Judiciary, Uganda National Roads Authority and Uganda Revenue Authority, Universities and other public institutions to the National Backbone Infrastructure. The objective is to improve efficiency and reliability in service delivery, he adds.

He says once connected, the beneficiaries will access high speed connectivity at reduced internet services costs which will eventually reduce administrative costs in government institutions.
 
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Phase 1 of the National Backbone Infrastructure project connected Kampala, Mukono, Jinja, Bombo, Entebbe and 27 Government Ministries and Departments to a 198km network of optical Fibre. 

The second phase of the Project linked Uganda to neighbors Kenya in the east and South Sudan to the north with a total of 1400.734kms of Optical Fiber Cable laid in the districts of Busia, Tororo, Mbale, Malaba, Kumi, Soroti, Lira, Gulu, Elegu, Masindi, Kyenjojo, Fort Portal, Kasese, Bushenyi and Mbarara.

In the FY 2014/15 six (6) Public Universities (Makerere University, Busitema, Gulu, Uganda Management Institute, Makerere University Business School and Mbarara University of Science and Technology) were connected through the NBI under the Computerized Education Management and Accounting System (CEMAS).

Saaka explains that because the projects requires digging of trenches and erecting poles to transmit the Fibre cables, they are currently engaging local leaders and other stakeholders, to create community pro-activeness towards ensuring security and safety of the equipment and installations.
 
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With the NBI fully functioning, it will be possible to deploy services such as video conferencing, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), unified messaging and collaboration services, which can allow sharing of data across government institutions.
 
Robert Benon Mugabi, the Rakai District Chairperson is upbeat about the development saying it will help them reduce the high transport costs since business transactions would be executed with minimal movement.
 
Mugabi is optimistic that the system will improve government's reporting system.
 
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The entire project is expected to cost a tune of 70 million US Dollars which is a concessional loan from China