Government’s free wi-fi goes live today. The wireless will be offered in select locations in Kampala and Entebbe between 6pm and 6am from Monday to Friday, and between 3pm and 6am on weekends.
The National Information Technology Authority–Uganda (NITA-U), the government body charged with coordinating and regulating information technology services in Uganda, is implementing the programme.
NITA-U says the initial rollout will cover Bugolobi Flats, Middle East, Village Mall, Makerere University Business School, Uganda Manufacturers’ Association, Lugogo Cricket Oval, Kololo Airstrip, Kisementi, Bombo Road, Buganda Road, Kampala Road, Ben Kiwanuka Street, Johnstone Street, Luwum Street and Kololo Airstrip. It will later move to other areas, according to the authority.
The free wi-fi is only available in the evening because NITA-U is using idle bandwidth in government offices – when civil servants have left office – to offer the service.
The wi-fi will reach maximum speeds of 2mbps.
To access the wi-fi, users should log in to hotspots with the name MYUG. After logging in, open a browser that will redirect to a page with details that have to be filled in to complete for registration. The details needed are: first and last name, email address, mobile number, preferred username, access password, date of birth, and gender. Afterwards, registered users will log in using their username and password.
The hotspot, however, blocks access to some websites. These include voice over IP websites (e.g. Skype, Google Hangouts, WhatsApp), app updates, video streaming websites, bit torrent websites, and pornography websites.