National Backbone Infrastructure Project (NBI/EGI)
The Government of Uganda through the Ministry of ICT secured funding towards the implementation of the National Data Transmission Backbone Infrastructure and e-Government Infrastructure (NBI/EGI) Project in the financial year 20006/2007. The overall objective of the project is to provide connectivity to Government Ministries and Departments in the country. The project was divided into three phases which involved the laying of Optical Fiber Cable across the country to all major towns, with transmission stations in these towns. Following the NITA-U Act of 2009, the NBI/EGI was handed over to NITA-U in January 2010 to continue and complete the implementation of the respective Phases. After the handover, NITA-U undertook measures to rectify all the implementation challenges that were experienced in Phases I and II.
To date, NITA-U has completed the implementation of all the three (4)
After the handover of the NBI/EGI to NITA-U, the Authority undertook measures to rectify all the implementation challenges that were experienced in Phases I and II. One of the measures NITA-U undertook was to assess the entire work that had been completed in Phases I and II to identify gaps in order to address the issues and rectify the faults on the backbone.
Within the financial year 2011/12 and financial year 2012/13, NITA-U undertook initiatives to rectify the issues that were identified through the comprehensive technical and security assessment of the NBI/EGI. For the first time in the financial year 2013/14, the NBI/EGI became operational.
To date, NITA-U has completed the implementation of all the three (4) Phases of the NBI/EGI Project.
Phase I of the project.
- Connectivity (168Km of Optical fibre cable) linking the towns of Entebbe, Mukono, Jinja, Bombo to Kampala including 27 Ministries and some Government Departments, was completed.
- The Project was completed and a total of 1400.734kms of Optical Fiber Cable connecting Busia, Tororo, Mbale, Malaba, Kumi, Soroti, Lira, Gulu, Elegu, Masindi, Kyenjojo, Fort Portal, Kasese, Bushenyi and Mbarara was laid.
Under Phase III
NITA-U completed the extension of the NBI to the towns of Masaka, Mutukula border post, Mbarara, Kabale and the Katuna Border Post.
- The laying of the Optical Fibre Cable in Phase III has addressed Creation of the alternative route to the undersea cables via Mutukula to Daresaalam and completion of the concentric rings across the country through the implementation of Kyenjojo – Masindi as well as across the Tanzania and Rwanda through Mutukula, Rusumo and back to Katuna to enhance regional connectivity and
- Connection to the border town of Katuna through the laying of the Kampala – Katuna Optical Fibre Cable route.
- Phase 4 of the Project commenced with building of the Kasese – Mpondwe Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) Link, Karuma – Arua – Koboko – Elegu OFC Link and the Soroti to Moroto OFC Link.
- Additionally, over 100MDAs were added to the National Backbone Infrastructure which brought the total of MDAs to 603.
- Three more border points were addded into the National bacbone under phase 4 which included, Oraba with South Sudan, Vurra and Mpondwe with DR Congo and Elegu with sudan were all connected to the ICT backbone for regional connectivity and to enhance the redundancy of the NBI. After the completion of phase4 a total number of 7boarder points were connected to the NBI.
Last Mile project
Currently, the Government is implementing the Last Mile Connectivity Project under which 732km of fiber optic cable are being laid to extend the National Data Transmission Backbone Infrastructure (NBI) connectivity to an additional 700 sites. At the end of the Project, the cumulative span of the NBI shall be over 3,156km across 52 Districts and connecting over 1,300 Government Offices and Target User Groups. As of today a total of 575 out of the 700 sites have been connected.
Map showing the connectivity of the NBI
Key: Coverage of the NBI as by December 2017 Green is completed, blue to be implemented FY 2018/19 Maroon is under funding review.
BENEFITS OF THE NBI
Reduction in Internet costs
At the time the NBI was operationalized by NITA-U(2013/2014) the cost of Internet Bandwidth across Government entities was on average USD 1200 for 1Mbps per month, however this, however this cost was reduced to USD 300 to allow MDAs have access to affordable services and reduce the cost of communication.
As a result, the Government has realized a reduction of internet costs from USD1200 in 2013 to USD 300 in 2014 to USD 190 in 2017 per Mbps to the current USD 70 per Mbps. Further price reduction is expected to be realized in the subsequent financial years as more MDA sites are connected to the NBI/EGI.
- Revenue Generation
The Operation of the ICT Backbone/NBI has resulted in revenue generation for the Government.
Connecting Government sites to the Government Network.
- To date, a total of 603. MDAs, Local Government (LG) sites and Government service centres (Hospitals, universities) are connected to this network as at the
The endpoint of the NBI is to ensure all Government services are online. Below are some of the Government services online ;
- UIA One-Stop Center, (Uganda Investment Authority)
- EC Voters Register(Electoral Commission)
- E-Visa, E-Tax, E-Single Window (Ministry of Internal Affairs)
- IGG Wealth Declaration(The Inspectorate of Government)
These services have proceeded to reduce human interactions and saved the taxpayers time