Ugandan Team to Develop National Broadband Strategy
Uganda's Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) has appointed a high-powered team of stakeholders in the communications sector to come up with a broadband infrastructure strategy for the country.
In order to obtain an all-inclusive spectrum of opinions, the team consists of representatives from government, the regulator, the operators, ISPs (Internet service providers), other investors/consumers, civil society and the academia.
The Uganda Broadband Infrastructure Strategy Team (UBIST) is to submit its analysis and recommendations to develop the broadband strategy on June 12.
A member of the strategy team privy to discussions who did not want to be named said, "These are bold and radical steps we are suggesting for government to take."
The eastern seaboard of Africa has gone from no undersea cables serving the region between Durban in South Africa to Port Sudan in Sudan to four submarine cables planned to be developed concurrently.
In recent years, countries in the eastern, central and southern parts of Africa have worked together on developing the broadband infrastructure.
Initially, telecommunications operators in the region signed a memorandum of understanding to develop what is known as the East African Submarine Cable System (EASSy), which has since gotten under way.
This was followed by an initiative spearheaded by the New Partnership for African Development (Nepad) e-Africa Commission, which is developing submarine and terrestrial cable networks around Africa, starting with the east and southern coasts.
The submarine cable UhuruNet and a terrestrial network component UmojaNeta are expected to be operational in May 2010.
These activities have also attracted other private investors, notably a group of American investors together with the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED), which are developing a cable system along a similar route under the name Seacom.
The Kenyan government is supporting the development of an undersea fiber cable, The East African Marine System (TEAMS), which will run from Mombasa north to the Middle East.
In addition, governments in the region are at various stages of implementing national data transmission backbones.
Uganda has completed phase one of the implementation, which has linked a major section of the economic and administrative hub of the country.