Access to high speed, reliable internet on track

TANZANIA is on track in ensuring access to high-speed and reliable internet communication is becoming productive among its citizens, said the Minister for Information, Communication and Information Technology, Mr Nape Nnauye.

Mr Nape disclosed this on Tuesday in Geneva, Switzerland, during the annual meeting of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Council for which, Tanzania is a member.

“Although Tanzania has not arrived at the goal, a lot of progress has been made,” said the minister, describing the path taken by the country which involved ensuring high speed internet can be accessed everywhere.

He added: “The steps involve moving from the concept of internet everywhere to internet to everyone…it is critical that our focus is placed on high-speed and productive internet to every person.”

According to him, productive and high-speed internet connectivity should be able to allow its users to work online at an affordable cost, maximum security and required quality that meet international standards.

The minister observed that the government has successfully expanded broadband coverage by 80 per cent of the areas of people.

Besides, a large number of the people who live in areas with 3G, 4G and 5G internet connectivity do not benefit from digital services, which are enabled by high-speed internet due to high cost of smart phones, data bundles and low awareness on available services.

On top of this, the government has taken various steps in tackling the challenges including coming up with programmes which have raised digital services awareness among people, right of ways as well as waiver communication levies, a move aimed to bring service relief.

Mr Nape also told the gathering that the government of Tanzania has waived mobile money transaction levies due high demand of the services among the citizens, while also taking into account that the service was crucial in boosting the digital economy and ICT use efficiency.

Similarly, the government has continued to encourage communication and financial service providers to come up with a mechanism for issuing smart phone loans to their customers at affordable rates.

The minister revealed that the government is cognisant of the importance of high-speed internet access as a foundation for a successful digital revolution.

He appealed for local stakeholders continuing to collaborate with stakeholders from the international community and from the region in strengthening and ensuring the goal of every person obtaining access to high-speed and reliable internet is realised.

Tanzania has been given the honor of hosting a special ITU meeting discussing “Metaverse” issues to be held on September 12, 2023 and will be followed by a conference entitled “Cities and Metaverse: the use of Metaverse for all” to be held on September 13, 2023.

Tanzania is also expected to be the host of the ITU-T Working Group 20 meeting that discusses the Internet of Things and Cities and Sustainable Communities from September 13 to 22 this year, in Arusha.

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