FAQ: Service Fees

In the interest of sustainability, the Uganda Internet eXchange Point (UIXP) will be implementing service fees starting January 1st, 2018. This FAQ attempts to address a number of related questions. A full list of our services and associated fees can be found here.

Q: Why can’t the UIXP continue to provide a free service?
A: Since our inception in 2001, we have provided this service for free in an effort to develop the Internet ecosystem in Uganda. In order to do this, we have relied entirely on volunteer staff and donations. However, demand for our service has grown substantially over time, and we have now reached a scale where our operational requirements can no longer be wholly sustained by this model. In other words, we can no longer provide a reliable service and satisfy the growing needs of the networks that rely on us without a regular source of monetary income.

Q: Will the service fees change over time?
A: Yes. As a matter of policy, we will review and revise our prices annually in order to ensure that we continually provide effective service at the lowest possible cost as this is in the best interest of our exchange, the networks we serve, and the Internet ecosystem in Uganda.

Q: Does the UIXP offer discounts?
A: Yes, we offer discounts for academic networks and networks that provide in-kind services to the UIXP. Please refer to our services page for more information.

Q: My network is already connected to the UIXP. Do we have to pay the non-recurring setup costs (NRC) when fees are implemented?
A: No. Networks will not be charged setup fees for any services already in use prior to January 1st, 2018.

Q: Will the UIXP use some of this money to pay its staff?
A: Yes. The UIXP has become too time consuming to maintain with volunteer staff alone. A core team of staff will be paid a competitive salary, though we will continue to utilize volunteers as much as possible.

Q: What will happen if a network is unable to pay the required port fees?
A: We will attempt to be as flexible as possible with payments. However, if a network neglects to pay their fees for an extended period of time, the offending network will be relegated to our free service tier. There is simply no other way for us to enforce a fee-based model without taking such action for non-payment.

Q: What if there is a sustained outage or period of downtime?
A: While we are currently unable to offer a Service Level Agreement (SLA), we may choose to refund all or part of the monthly service fees in such situations. We will work to develop an SLA-based service in the future.

Q: Does the introduction of fees mean that the UIXP is now a for-profit business?
A: No. The UIXP is legally registered as a not-for-profit organization (i.e. without shareholding). Excess income must be reinvested in the company by law.

Q: How can participating networks confirm that funds are being spent wisely?
A: Ugandan law requires us to file annual accounts with Companies House. These reports are visible to the public. We will also strive to be as transparent as possible in all related matters.