According to Surfshark, a cybersecurity company based in the Netherlands, the cost of internet access in Uganda is the highest in the world.

According to the research, Uganda’s internet affordability ranks 116th out of 117 nations surveyed, representing 92% of the worldwide population. This means that Internet access in Uganda is prohibitively expensive by global standards. Ivory Coast is the only country in the world where internet costs more than Uganda. It placed at 117.

What this means
Ugandans must work 510 times more (41 minutes and 50 seconds per month) than Israelis, whose most basic 1GB subscription costs only 5 seconds per month. Meanwhile, fixed broadband costs Ugandans approximately 59 hours of valuable working time.

Although data on internet usage in Uganda is limited, official figures reveal that just 52% of the population has access to the internet. The poor penetration is attributed to the costly cost of the internet and smartphones, as well as a lack of infrastructure, particularly in isolated and rural areas.

The high cost of internet in Uganda has been attributed to significant operating expenses for service providers. Telecom providers must develop or lease infrastructure to connect the country to fibre cables on the Indian Ocean coast and transport data across a 900km path into the country.

The Ugandan government shook the sector in 2018 when it implemented an Over-The-Top (OTT) tax, requiring users to pay a daily cost of Shs200 to access over 50 services, including Facebook and whatsapp.

Around the continent
When compared to other East African countries, Kenya offers the cheapest internet and is placed 92 on Surfshark’s Digital Quality of Life Index 2022. Tanzania ranks 107th. Kenya’s internet quality is comparable to Uganda’s, although the internet in the neighbouring country is less expensive due to superior electronic infrastructure and e-government.

Tanzania likewise has cheaper internet than Uganda, with nearly the same quality of internet and e-infrastructure. Uganda’s e-security is superior than that of Kenya and Tanzania.

In terms of internet speed, stability, and growth, Uganda ranks 107th in the world, 35% worse than the worldwide average.

Uganda’s mobile internet is 14% slower than Kenya’s, and broadband is 16% slower. In comparison, Singaporeans experienced mobile speeds of up to 104 Mbps/s and fixed speeds of up to 261 Mbps/s this year, making it the fastest internet in the world.

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