Ugandans’ thirst to get connected to the world through faster data transfer  and website updates without leaving the comfort zone has been quenched by the launch of broadband Internet service in the country. 

Seacom’s fibre optic cable that links East and Southern Africa to Asia and Europe through the Middle East, was intended at providing the East and South Africans access to the whole world through fast, affordable and reliable Internet services.

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Speaking at the Seacom launch in Kampala on Thursday, the company representative in Uganda, Mr Fred Moturi, said the undersea cable has a bandwidith which encourages volume discounts and large bandwidth growth unlike the satellite connections that have been dominating the country for the past years.

It is expected that broadband will reduce the cost of Internet connection by more than 80 per cent lower than satellite connection with a capacity of 1.28TB per second, to provide the much needed Internet connection capacity.

Seacom broadband Internet which will be sold to the Internet service providers (ISPs) at $400 (Shs800, 000) is $6, 100 (Shs12.2m) cheaper than the satellite technology which costs $6,500 (Shs13m). “Since we will sell ISPs at a cheaper price, we expect them to provide it to the end users at least 75 per cent less,” said Mr Moturi.

The Minister for Information and communication Technology, Mr Aggrey Awori, said the cable will stimulate education growth, health, media and talent while spurring innovation and creativity. “We are going to use the facility as a platform to boost e-medicine, e-education and e-commerce,” said Mr Awori.
Kenya Data Network constructed a 15,000km fibre optic cable linking Mombasa, Nairobi and Kampala and connects to the undersea cable of Seacom.

The project which cost $600 million (Shs120 billion) had 76.25 per cent of finances coming from African funders and the rest from Herakles Capital, a United States agency.

During the launch, Seacaom with Cisco jointly built a voice, data and video platform where the launch of Seacom was broadcast live via Internet protocol to five launch locations including; Uganda, South Africa, Kenya, Mozambique and Tanzania.

The State Minister for ICT, Mr Alintuma Nsambu, said the government opted for this Internet to provide alternative cheaper Internet solutions to citizens.

To make sure that customers get full value for their money, broadband companies will be regulated by the Uganda Communications Communication for security reasons.

By MONITOR PUBLICATIONS