UCC‘s response regarding internet shutdown today not so encouraging

UCC’s response regarding internet shutdown in Uganda with some apps not working was finally released in a statement today through its spokesperson Ibrahim Bbosa.

This is not a rare occasion however for the internet to be blocked in countries when there is high political tension as the situation is currently. Countries usually take the initiative to block access temporarily sometimes to the entire internet, in most cases popular social media platforms.

Also read: Social media shutdown in Uganda gets many off-guard as they struggle to stay connected.

“There are situations where the states have been forced to block the internet during elections. We hope we don’t get there” said Ibrahim Bbosa.

Complaints started towards the end of last week after people realized that they could not download apps on their devices. In attempts to download apps, iPhone users received the error message “Unable To Install-Please Try Again” and for Android users, the download process remains pending and no download eventually happens.

This week many have no access to popular social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram without a VPN connection. Other people are complaining about unusually slow internet connections. It looks like different people are experiencing different issues when it comes to internet access.

UCC’s response regarding internet shutdown on cause of slow internet.

UCC’s response on this was, “The slow internet could be a result of too much traffic online because many people around the world are interested in elections. So far there is no directive to remove the internet.”

Ibrahim Bbosa, the UCC spokesperson explains that the problems experienced by many in the internet community are not a result of any efforts to block the internet. Attributing the issues to a lot of traffic because of the global interest in Uganda’s elections that are to be held on 14th January 2021 which is this week.

He goes on to say that minimizing the use of social media will surely be the last resort implying that the current situation is not a result of being blocked.

Many disagree with this statement since it’s not the first time that usage of the internet is restricted during the election period. It happened in 2016 at a time when many were not familiar with the use of VPNs.

However, due to the introduction of the OTT tax in 2018, people resorted to the use of Virtual Private Networks as a means to dodge the tax. It is 2021 and these Private Networks have become one of the most downloaded and used apps today enabling people to get access to the internet throughout this crisis.

UCC’s response regarding internet shutdown as to whether blocking the internet can be done in accordance with the law.

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