The fibre-optic cable network links Uganda to the submarine cable on the East African coast and provide faster and cheaper internet access. Fibre-optic cable can be used as a medium for telecommunication and computer networking because it is flexible. It is especially advantageous for long-distance communications, because light propagates through the fibre with little attenuation compared to electrical cables. This allows long distances to be spanned with few repeaters.
National Information Technology Authority Uganda
The National Information Technology Authority Uganda (NITA-U) is currently working on an alternative route for the fibre optic cable to mitigate breakdowns along the Kenya route. The alternative route through Tanzania was planned by NITA-U and the government and it started to work in November 2012. SEACOM 17,000 kilometres undersea fibre optic cable has reached Uganda and it is providing a cheap high speed bandwidth to the users.
Contribution of the Optic Fibre Cable
- Capability to maintain two million phone calls simultaneously hence marking a revolutionary transformation in Internet access and affordability in Uganda.
- People are being ushered into a new age. This will be one of the great levelling tools of the time.
- Life enhancing discipline such as educational, clinical and scientific research which relies on real-time sharing of data around the world
- The Optic Fibre will open world to students and teachers accessing on-line curriculum, creative minds selling their works to the world and doctors conducting complicated medical procedures with the guidance of their expert colleagues from distant lands.
- SEACOM submarine cables make it a viable investment as opposed to the expensive satellite.
- The submarine fibre is expected to benefit businesses, homes and the digital villages by providing faster, cheaper and efficient services including cable television, telephone and internet to Uganda.
Challenges with the Optic Fibre
- Low electricity supply in the country which has hindered the speed of the process
- High cost for buying equipments and paying contractors
- Lack of high capacity backbone is still a challenge
- Financial problems
- Competent and experienced resources to manage the optic fibre infrastructure.