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Uganda is giving free Wi-Fi across Kampala every night but only for access to ‘good’ websites

Free wi-fi for all
Reuters/Darrin Zammit Lupi
Free wi-fi for all
By Abdi Latif Dahir
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Uganda’s government said it will deliver free Wi-Fi services in the capital Kampala as part of an initiative to broaden the reach of the internet access to the public.

Frank Tumwebaze, the country’s minister of information and communication, said the government would provide the connection between 6 pm and 6 am on weekdays, and from 3 pm to 6 am on weekends.

“Internet access is no longer a luxury but a necessity for all Ugandan citizens,” Tumwebaze said in a speech on Friday (Sept. 30). “The ICT sector must remain at the center of this country-wide transformation steering Uganda to world class efficiency and productivity.”

The government’s public communications office boasted that the initiative might be the first of its kind in the region.

The Wi-Fi service will first be tested on Saturday and will be accessible to all those attending the Kampala City Festival on Sunday (Oct. 2).

But Tumwebaze also reportedly said that there will be restrictions on downloading videos and access to ‘bad sites‘. Back in August, as part of its efforts to clamp down on pornography, the government invested in an $88,000 pornography-detection machine, bought from a South Korean company.

The Wi-Fi pilot project was enabled because of the government’s investment in the National Backbone Infrastructure, which aims to connect all major towns and government departments to the internet, according to Tumwebaze.

Because of that program, internet costs, he said, “have reduced from $1200 to $300 per megabit per second per month in 2010 and 2016 respectively.”

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