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Uganda slashes internet costs in half

Uganda's Minister of ICT and National Guidance, Chris Baryomunsi.
Uganda's Minister of ICT and National Guidance, Chris Baryomunsi.

Uganda's Minister of ICT and National Guidance, Chris Baryomunsi, has announced a 50% reduction in the cost of Internet connection.

The minister made the announcement this week in Kampala at a news conference hosted in collaboration with the regulator, National Information Technology Authority (NITA).

Uganda's move comes amid growing calls on the continent to make internet access more accessible.

According to an International Telecommunication Union survey published last year, Africans paid more than three times the global median price for mobile broadband services and more than five times the global median price for fixed broadband.

"I'm delighted to announce that the price of the Internet has been reduced from $70 to $35 per Mbps per month as of today, 1 August, 2023," stated minister Baryomunsi on Tuesday.

"Our actions today will inspire private Internet Service Providers to follow suit, ultimately benefiting all Ugandans with more affordable and accessible Internet services."

The minister also praised NITA for completing the initial phases of the National Data Transmission Backbone Infrastructure project (NBI), which would serve as the primary vehicle for all government data, Internet, and telephony services.

He claimed that using the NBI as a secure high-speed network for the government has resulted in cheaper communication expenses overall, as well as an expansion in the geographic reach of broadband networks across the country.

"I'd like to emphasise that this price decrease means that government offices connected to the NBI will consume internet at the lowest market price.”

Baryomunsi said NITA's decision will result in significant savings to the government's communication budget, as well as catalyse e-government services adoption, and deepen digitisation.

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