94.3% of households in Uganda do not have internet access at home – Techjaja

Home Internet plans 2020 household

The National Information Technology Authority (NITA-U), with funding from the Government of Uganda, conducted the National Information Technology (IT) Survey 2022 to provide data and information. The survey indicated that 94.3% of households in Uganda do not have internet access at home, among other findings.

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The study looked at whether households had internet access, the number of household members who
used the Internet, the type of devices connected to the Internet and the average household expenditure on
Internet access. For households that did not have Internet access, the study explored the reasons for the lack of a
Internet connection.

Only 5.7% of households reported having a working internet connection at home. More than four times as many households (13.4%) in urban areas reported having a working internet connection, compared to only 3.2% of households in rural areas. Figure 88 shows that when disaggregated by sub-regions, Kampala (the capital) and surrounding regions had the highest number of places with internet access. In South Buganda, one in four households (24.6%) had access to the Internet. Kampala had 17.0% and Buganda North had 11.5% of households with internet access. The Acholi, Bukedi and Elgon sub-regions each had 7% of households with internet access, while the rest of the regions had less than 5% of families with internet access.

Households with a working internet connection (5.7%) used a variety of technologies to access the internet
indicated below. Using a mobile phone or smartphone as a modem was the most common method (61.4%).
followed by using a USB/MiFi dongle (26.5%).

Household Internet Access Methods by Location
Household Internet Access Methods by Location

Most households (94.3%) did not have Internet access at home. The survey asked the reasons why households
didn’t have a working internet connection at home. Hardware cost too high (48.3%), service cost too high (40.1%)
and don’t know how to use it (30.4%) were the top three reasons for not having a working internet
home connection. Lack of knowledge was the most frequently cited reason in 2017-2018, while cost of equipment ranked third and high cost of internet fifth. The results mirror the findings of the UNHS 2019/20 in terms of reasons for not using the internet.

Internet cost in Uganda

On average, households spent 25,000 UGX per month on Internet access. On average, urban households spent more
(UGX 30,000) per month on Internet access compared to rural households (UGX 18,000). There were more rural
households (42.7%) in the lower expenditure range of 0-10,000 UGX per month compared to urban households
(28%). Overall, 33.8% of households spent in this category.

Household expenditure (UGX) for Internet access by month and location
Household expenditure (UGX) for Internet access by month and location

One in five households (20.7%) spent in the next category of 10,001 UGX to 20,000 UGX per month. In terms of location, there were more urban households (24.3%) than rural households (15.2%). Those who spent between 20,001 UGX and 30,000 UGX were 15.1%, and those who spent more than 100,000 UGX were 16.3%. The expenditures of urban and rural households in both cases were comparable.

The Uganda NITA survey collected data on a number of household characteristics. Census takers listed 19,700 houses in 263 enumeration areas (EAs) visited. From these houses, the survey team randomly selected 15 households per EA, making a total of 3,945 houses to be surveyed. Of the sampled households, 72.6% provided complete data (both household and individual), 13.6% provided partial data (only household data; sampled individual n was not available for interview), 2.9% were at home but refused to consent to the survey and 10.9% were found to have no one at home.

Overall, the national average household size was five people per household, which is in line with the national average
household size according to the recent Uganda National Household Survey (UNHS) 2019/20 conducted by UBOS.
The smallest household had one person, while the largest had 25 people. The average household size was larger in rural areas (5 people) than in urban areas (4 people).

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