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Govt to offer free internet for Kampala, Entebbe

By David Lumu, Moses Walubiri

Added 13th September 2016 11:17 AM

The free wireless internet (Wi-Fi) concept is part of Government’s initiative to expand internet connectivity to Ugandans.

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The free wireless internet (Wi-Fi) concept is part of Government’s initiative to expand internet connectivity to Ugandans.

Starting October 1, if you are in Kampala or Entebbe, you will not be in need of an internet café.

All you need is to create an account and login password to access MYUG, a new application that has been developed by the National Information and Communications Technology (NITAU) to provide free Wi-Fi in designated hot spots in Kampala and Entebbe between 6pm and 6am.

The free wireless internet (Wi-Fi) concept is part of Government’s initiative to expand internet connectivity to Ugandans.

According to information released by Emma Belinda Were, a communication officer at the Uganda Media Centre (UMC), to access the Wi-Fi services, Ugandans are expected to sign up via MYUG access page using seven steps—first and last name, email address, mobile number, preferred username, access password, date of birth and gender.

Paula Turyahikayo, the chairperson of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) committee of Parliament, recently told New Vision that already through NITAU, government is availing free bulk internet bundles to ministries, departments and agencies.

“So, after 5pm when civil servants leave office, free Wi-Fi can be used by members of the public,” she said.

As of 2013, information from the International Telecommunications Union indicated that internet usage in Uganda had risen from 40,000 in year 2000 to 2 million in 2008 and to 6 million in 2013.

The increase had a positive trickle down economic effect in form of value added services such as bulk messaging, games and pranks.

In collaboration with the government of South Korea, Uganda is putting in place structures for electronic governance.

With a proliferation of smart phones, more Ugandans, especially the younger generation are accessing internet through their handsets, and platforms such as Whatsapp and Facebook are the leading internet data consumers.

With the introduction of free internet wireless services by Government, the burden of expensive data costs is expected to be solved.

However, some Ugandans say the Government free Wi-Fi should be treated with a curious outlook.

“It is good. I can only hope it will be faster than a sloth. But, what assurances do we have that it will also be free from Government spying,” said Shifa Mwesigye, a communication officer at Global Rights Alert.

 

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