RURAL settlements without infrastructure for telephone communications will have the essential service by October next year, the National Assembly was told.
Deputy Minister for Communications, Science and Technology, January Makamba, said the government was determined to ensure that the entire country had access to reliable communication service by next year.
Responding to a question by Lulindi member of parliament Jerome Bwanausi (CCM), Mr Makamba however decried lack of infrastructure such as roads and electricity, as well as budgetary deficit to fund the projects.
He said the government through the Universal Communications Services Access Fund (UCAF) has already identified villages in Chiwata, Mkundi, Mkululu, Sindano, Chikolopola, Mnavira, Lipumburu, Mkonona, Namatutwe and Mpindimbi wards in Masasi district as the needy areas for the service.
The deputy minister said hitherto six wards had been assigned contractors and that the government planned to have wards accessing communications by February 2015.
He further said that the government was working out a comprehensive plan to provide communications services to the country’s border areas which had no communication service, saying Mchauru, Mnavira and Chikolopola wards would be among the plan’s beneficiaries.
The legislator, in his question, had sought to know when the wards in his constituency would have communications services.
Meanwhile, Mr Makamba has said that the government has, through UCAF, identified Ufuluma, Mabana, Imangulu, Ibiri, Ikangolo and Isikizya wards for communication services under the second phase of the project.
Answering a question by Shaffin Sumar (Tabora North –CCM) who wanted to know the progress of UCAF projects in wards, Mr Makamba said the government was encouraging mobile service providers to extend their services to areas that remained disconnected from communications services.