The costs of internet are likely to drop further in the new 2023/2024 Financial year. The Committee on Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) and National Guidance has tasked the National Information Technology Authority Uganda (NITA-U) to reduce the cost of internet.

While talking with NITA-U officials led by the Minister of ICT, Hon. Chris Baryomunsi over the Ministerial Policy Statement for Financial Year 2023/2024 on Wednesday, 05 April 2023, the MPs said the high cost of internet offered by the authority is making it difficult to do business. 

The Chairperson of the Committee, Hon. Moses Magogo said internet is one of the biggest drivers of socio-economic transformation and its inaccessibility affects all sectors of the economy. 

“We are told that the cost of internet acquired from NITA-U is the cheapest on the market which is not true because there are some private players who are providing cheaper internet. So how would it be that private players are providing cheaper internet than NITA-U?” Magogo said.


Richard Obita, the NITA-U Director, Planning, Research and Development assured legislators of their target to reduce the cost of internet further from the current US Dollars 70 for each megabit per second to US Dollars 35 for each megabit per second. He said that initially, Ugandans were paying US Dollars 100 per megabit per second for internet services.

The committee also recommended that all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) pay for the internet services provided by NITA-U under the NBI project

Initially, Ugandans were paying US$100 per megabit per second for internet services.

“Once we are done with the last mile connectivity under the regional communication strategy, we did pronounce that with the effect of the coming financial year, we are going to lower the cost of internet to US$35 per megabit per second,” Obita said.  

Minister Baryomunsi said the ICT sector is committed to ensuring that the entire country is connected to the National Backbone Infrastructure (NBI) which would increase internet accessibility, thus lowering its cost.

He, however, asked Parliament to support the sector with adequate resources to meet its goals. 

Currently, the national internet coverage under the NBI is at 62 per cent. 

“We are preparing another loan from Exim Bank which if cleared by Cabinet and Parliament, then we shall have enough resources to cover the rest of the districts to do last mile connections which includes district headquarters, health centres, schools, and all government facilities,” Baryomunsi said. 

The committee also recommended that all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) pay for the internet services provided by NITA-U under the NBI project. 

This is after NITA-U complained that some MDAs were not paying for the services which has subsequently, stifled their revenue collection.

“Why would you want those MDAs to get your services for free yet they can pay for other utilities like water and electricity? This is a matter of policy which we need to take up and immediately ensure that those who get services from the ICT sector pay for them,” Hon. Mpindi Bumali (Indep., PWDs Representative) said.

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