The Ugandan government has approved the third phase of construction of the country’s National Data Transmission Backbone Infrastructure (NBI) and according to the National IT Authority, it is now set to commence.This development follows the signing of the framework and financing agreements for the 3rd phase of the NBI/EGI project, witnessed recently by Presidents Xi Jinping and Yoweri K. Museveni of the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Uganda, respectively.
National Information Technology Authority Uganda (NITA-U) is implementing the National Data Transmission Backbone Infrastructure and e-Government Infrastructure Project (NBI/EGI) whose major aims are to connect all major towns within the country onto an Optical Fibre Cable based Network and to connect Ministries and Government Departments onto the e-Government Network.
The contracts were signed by the Ugandan Finance Minister, the Governor of Exim Bank China and the Chinese Minister of Commerce.
The NBI/EGI Project is being implemented in phases in order to achieve phased coverage of the country.
Phases 1 and 2 have been completed and covered the 22 towns mentioned in (1) above and involved the laying of optical fibre cable over a distance of 1,645kms.
Phase 3 of the project that is expected to commence this year, shall involve further implementation of 756 kms of installed optical fibre cable and extend to the towns of Masaka, Mutukula, Mbarara, Kabale and Katuna.
“This is a fundamental step towards the realization of an active western ring under the NBI and we working tirelessly to ensure that more MDAs are connected to the NBI as we see a further reduction in internet costs,” James Saaka, Executive Director –NITA-U said at a recent engagement.
NITA-U is delivering bulk internet bandwidth to MDAs using the NBI, and has managed to lower the average cost of internet bandwidth from US$ 600 per MBps to US$ 300 per MBps for MDAs connected to the NBI, creating a saving of US$ 1,911,600 annually. When NITA-U will connect an additional 60 MDAs, we will have an additional saving of SU$ 3,348,000 on top of the US$ 1,911,600, annually.