UCC executive director Irene Kaggwa Sewankambo

Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has launched free Wifi hotspots at five border posts aimed at improving connectivity for people in transit.

The project, to be implemented by an Internet Service Provider, Blue Crane Communications Limited, will provide broadband services at the five border posts of Mutukula with Tanzania, Vurra with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Malaba with Kenya, Elegu with South Sudan and  Bunagana with DRC.

“(There will be) quick immigration processes and enhanced Uganda Revenue Authority data-based services to avoid overcrowding (while observing) social distancing. It will also enhance emergency response at the border areas for health, security personnel as well as local population,” Geoffrey Sengendo, a technical services head of the Rural Communications Development Fund at the UCC told Biztech Africa.

He said the free Wifi hotspots, which will be installed completely by end of October this year, will help in improving access to information and dissemination to the border community for Coronavirus prevention.

Sengendo said the selected areas are expected to experience the ease of doing business through e-commerce and e-government services from free Wifi hotspots that would deliver a bandwidth capacity of 5 megabytes per second per user thus contributing to the socio-economic transformation.

“Coverage footprint is 1 kilometre, so the local population in that radius will access free broadband services for use in various sectors including business, education, health, agriculture and leisure.

Speaking during the launch in Kampala on Wednesday, UCC executive director Irene Kaggwa Sewankambo said people in transit have unique communication needs that could be addressed through access to public Wifi hotspots, as well as border posts being essential in the fight against the global pandemic, Coronavirus.

In the east African nation, the respiratory disease has claimed the lives of over ten people while infecting more than 1 300 people, according to the Ugandan Health Ministry.

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