International Internet giant Google is urging East African countries to reduce the costs of Internet services in the region in order to promote more local content.
Google’s Field Access Director Kai Wulff said in Uganda that the region “receives unlimited capacity and yet a very small portion of it is being used.”
He said that this is because rates are too high and called on governments and telecom operators to lower Internet prices in an effort to boost penetration, usage and create wealth.
Wulff added that “there was a need to educate the public about the potential of the Internet.”
He said that Africa is continuously consuming and doing very little in terms of creating content, adding that as long as this continues, the continent would not be taken seriously by the rest of the world.
Lawrence Mulinda, IT services Manager at the National Information Technology Authority Uganda (NITA-U), agreed saying “there was very little content being provided by Ugandans, despite the huge potential.”
Mulinda remained optimistic and said that in time “Uganda would harness the opportunities provided by the Internet because of the efforts that different players are putting in place.”
The NITA-u official also reported that government was in the process of negotiating for a second sea cable route to the country in an effort to minimize the problems associated with damage to the sea cable at Mombasa.