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'Uganda's homes should have fiber optic cables'

By John Odyek

Added 19th June 2017 01:04 PM

ICT minister Frank Tumwebaze says broadband is now a utility.

'Uganda's homes should have fiber optic cables'

ICT minister Frank Tumwebaze says broadband is now a utility.

(Photo credit: AFP)


More homes and buildings in Uganda should have fiber optic cables to supply cheaper internet services, ICT Frank Tumwebaze has proposed.

He said the strategy of smart cities is now to approve buildings with fiber optic cables, which are designed for long distance, very high performance data networking and telecommunications.

They provide higher bandwidth, are less susceptible to interference and can transmit data over longer distances.

Whereas most fiber is installed to support long distance connections between cities and countries, some residential internet providers have invested in extending their fiber installations to suburban neighborhoods for direct access by households. Providers and industry professionals call these ‘last mile' installations.

Minister Tumwebaze said broadband is now a utility.

Because many homes do not have fiber optic cables, they are using expensive internet provided by mobile phones. He suggested that existing landlines must be converted to data lines.

Tumwebaze made these remarks said while closing the national competitiveness forum in Kampala.

"There are no fiber optics in homes. You have to depend on data. The data costs are high. Mobile internet is expensive to recoup expense on voice and data."

There should be fewer queues in banks if services can be processed electronically, he suggested, adding that the fleet of government vehicles can be monitored electronically to prevent misuse.

He also said digital dividends will be gained if innovation is supported through supporting developing local applications, adding that without developing local applications Ugandans will be consumers of other peoples products and services.

Tumwebaze observed that many utility services like electricity and water can now be accessed electronically and that more services should go electronic to improve service delivery.

Dr Peter Ngategize, national coordinator at Competitiveness Investment Climate Strategy Secretariat, said Ugandans want to enjoy better service delivery that comes with a pleasant experience.

He said this calls for lowering the cost of service delivery, improving efficiency, sharing data and information in government offices and minimizing corruption.


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