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We need fibre optic project to join new information age PDF Print E-mail

In the past few weeks, The Ministry of ICT has come under a lot of criticism over the expenditure for the National Backbone Infrastructure in the local press. Dr. Ham-Mukasa Mulira, the former minister for ICT tries to clarify the issues raising contention.

The New Vision Newspaper 20th August 2009

THE National Fibre Optic Backbone Project has been a topic of discussion in the Parliamentary committee on information and communication technology (ICT) and the ICT Ministry. There is, therefore, need to articulate what the project is about, what it means to the country and the region, with a clear understanding of the technology and related financial aspects.

In the current business environment, information systems, the Internet and global communication networks are creating new opportunities for organisational coordination and innovation. Current practice has been satellite-based communication links, but the associated costs are prohibitive and result in minimised access size of paths, (bandwidth) leading to slow Internet speeds.

To address the above, the Government, through the ICT ministry, decided to implement the National Data Transmission Backbone Infrastructure and e-Government Infrastructure (NBI/EGI). This entails laying of fibre optic cables and installation of related equipment. The fibre optic cable will link Uganda to the submarine cables on the East African coast, providing access to the rest of the world through Kenya.

The project has two key components; the NBI and EGI, which will be implemented in three phases at a cost of $106m (sh219b). The first phase was the EGI and its objective was to provide connectivity to government ministries and departments, including high-tech communication services called TETRA for the Uganda Police, at a cost of $30m (sh62b). This component was designed for internal government use, commonly referred to as government-to-government services.

You can read the full statement here 


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