The Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is set to add 300 more free internet sites in Kampala and Entebbe.
The ministry through the National Information and Technology Authority (NITA-Uganda) rolled out its first free wifi in October 2017. Initially, the service covered 284 specified locations in Kampala and Entebbe
Speaking to NBS Television’s Morning Breeze on Tuesday, Minister for ICT Jutdith Nabakooba said that they are set to add on 300 spots across the country.
“Internet zones are in action. NITA Uganda is providing free internet and over 230 sites were established in the central business district and areas of Entebbe. We hope to increase them with 300 more spots over the country,” Nabakooba said.
Several users had earlier expressed concerns that the free wifi had a weak signal with slow internet speeds but Nabakooba said that this had been improved.
“Ugandans can access this free internet from 5:00pm to 6:00am. Over the weekend, this data can be enjoyed for the entire day,” she added.
Nabakooba said that her docket has continued to register growth and she prides about their sector contribution to the GDP.
“The sector contribution to the GDP averaged 3.1% and significantly contributed to the national revenue,” she said.
The ICT sector has seen number of internet users and telecom subscribers increase over time and Nabakooba puts the figure at 21% telephone subscription and 91% internet subscription.
Nabakooba revealed that the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic caused many to migrate to ICT and that the ministry is working on many projects to encourage people to interact more online.
“People need to be informed about what everyone is expected to do. People are returning to work depending on the services they offer and we are encouraging them to get online.”
Nabakooba said that she is glad that her docket has managed to deliver on what they had promised to Ugandans since 2016 to date although she acknowledges that more needs to be done.