24 February 2013

Uganda: Govt Agencies Told to Connect to National Infrastructure Backbone

The National Information Technology Authority (NITA-U) expects that in the next six months, more government agencies will start to use the national infrastructure backbone, which would reduce costs and promote operation efficiency.

James Saaka, the NITA-U executive director, said more agencies should begin to use the national backbone that was launched about six months ago even if they have back up infrastructure.

"We must use the backbone. That is not negotiable," said Sakwa at Orange Uganda business breakfast meeting at the Kampala Sheraton Hotel on Wednesday.

NITA-U is the agency coordinating and monitoring the IT developments in Uganda within the context of National Social and Economic Development. The agency is also charged with implementing the National Data Transmission Backbone Infrastructure and e-Government Infrastructure Project (NBI/EGI).

The major aim of the NBI/EGI is to connect major towns onto an optical fibre cable-based network and to connect ministries and government departments onto the e-government network.

But there were reports that most government agencies were reluctant to connect onto the expensively laid infrastructure, a development that has led to calls for a unilateral declaration by government that all agencies must connect onto the infrastructure.

Andrew Banturaki, the Orange corporate sales team leader, said data usage has exponentially shot up in the last two years and admitted that revenue from the voice segment had thinned with increasing competition.

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