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Government Urged to Scale Up Internet Access

In a bid to expand Internet access, the government is considering to introduce "cloud computing," which will act as a data centre where the public can access all the information from government ministries, agencies, departments whenever they need it.

The same time with CIO East African

NITA-U at the same time with CIO East African, recently organized a breakfast meeting with IT Managers from all government ministries, agencies and departments, the private sector and civil society to discuss cloud computing and shared services.

"Once we implement this, you will just hold your equipment, which has internet and at that time access whatever you want," he said.

Currently, some government agencies already have a solution related to this. To illustrate Uganda Revenue Authority has the e-tax system where tax payers can use the internet in any place they are located to access, apply for any license online. The revenue authority says this has succeeded because many people are now using the platform.

Experts but, urged the government to ensure that internet access is scaled up countrywide if the full benefits of cloud computing are to be realised.

Crispus Ombogo, the partner systems engineer for sales at Cisco Systems Management B.V, an IT firm in Kenya, said Uganda needs to develop its internet infrastructure if the population is to benefit from the platform.

The National Backbone Infrastructure

Uganda is currently implementing the National Backbone Infrastructure and e-Government Infrastructure project however the project is behind schedule due to complaints over mismanagement and substandard cables. The project, whose objective is to take the Internet access to major towns across the country, is being implemented by NITA-U at a cost of about $106 million.

Government currently spends Shs 6.3 billion on internet per year, Shs 25 billion on operating systems and Shs 290 million on anti-viruses for its computers. Saaka said once the new solution comes on board the costs would come down significantly.

IT expert at Uganda Institute of Information

An IT expert at Uganda Institute of Information and Communications Research told The Independent that as NITA-U plans to push for this solution, it should think of the would be risks involved like hacking. "This is becoming a dirty game and it is worrying ICT users," the expert, who declined to be named said, adding that this could lead to huge financial losses otherwise checked.

Experts say the security issues arising out of cloud computing are of two varieties. The first relates to security issues confronted by cloud providers that include the software suppliers and platform providers, during the other relates to security issues encountered by the clients or users.

Recently Uganda Revenue Authority reportedly lost over Shs 2 billion afterwards fraudulent transactions involving hacking of their tax management system.

More information: Allafrica