Tayebwa calls for free internet for Educational Websites

The Deputy Speaker, Thomas Tayebwa has emphasised the importance of making educational websites accessible to all children, especially in rural areas.

Tayebwa made the remarks at the launch of the CanalBox – Group Vivendi Africa (GVA) Uganda, an internet service provider that targets to make internet accessible to Ugandans.
The launch took place on Wednesday, 10 July 2024 at the Kampala Serena Hotel.

Tayebwa highlighted the benefits of zero-rating educational websites which he said would allow students from disadvantaged backgrounds to access valuable learning resources without the burden of internet costs.
"While my child can afford internet access, many children in rural Wakiso and other similar areas would greatly benefit from free access to educational resources," he said.

He said that by zero-rating educational services and eliminating harmful content, Uganda can build a society that contributes meaningfully to the country's development and protect children and values held by the country.

Zero-rating educational websites means that internet service providers (ISPs) offer access to educational websites without charging for data. In this case, users can visit educational websites without using up their data allowance or incurring extra costs thus making educational resources more accessible .

AUDIO DS Tayebwa

In addition to advocating for zero-rating educational websites, Tayebwa called for a ban on pornography citing its negative impact on families and society.
"Pornography adds no value to our economy and contributes to the breakdown of families. In countries like Dubai, pornography is banned, leading to stronger family structures," Tayebwa added.

In a bid to address corruption and improve efficiency in public infrastructure projects, the Deputy Speaker advocated for the establishment of an infrastructure corridor with the aim of streamlining government operations, reducing redundancy and cutting costs associated with “Some people have been compensated more than five times to allow different utilities pass by their land,” he said.

The Managing Director of GVA, Jean-François Duboy said that the aim of the internet provider is to democratise broadband internet access through fibre.
“With a speed of 200 Mbps for only Shs200,000 in terms of price, speed and value for money, we are convinced it will be game-changing. Canal Box will now enable a large number of Ugandan families to connect to animated high-speed internet in their homes,” he said.  
The Chief Executive Officer, GVA, Julius Kayoboke, added that when they entered the Ugandan market, there were only 30,000 homes in Uganda connected to fibre internet compared to Kenya’s 600,000.  He said for the 11 months so far, 5,000 homes have been covered with a projection of another  500,000 homes in Kampala within three to four years.

The Director Industry Affairs and Content Development at the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), Julianne Mweheire, said that increased access to the internet boosts business opportunities and fosters innovation.