Mandate

Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) is mandated under Sections 5 (k) of the Uganda Communications Act of 2013 to “Promote and safeguard the interests of consumers and operators as regards the quality of communication services and equipment”.

Damage to underground communication infrastructure by digging/excavation/construction works is one of the biggest causes of disruption to communication services provided by the operators in Uganda. This affects the quality of the communication services that they provide. This damage is commonly due to lack of information regarding the presence and location of existing underground communication infrastructure at the digging/excavation/construction works site.

In order to ease the process of exchanging information between owners of underground communication infrastructure and entities intending to carry out digging/excavation/construction works, UCC has developed an underground communication infrastructure information exchange platform.

Objective of the Underground Communication Infrastructure information Exchange Platform

The purpose of the platform is to facilitate timely exchange of reliable information about existing underground communication infrastructure location between entities intending to carry out digging/ excavation/construction works and telecommunications operators that have established this infrastructure.

The specific objectives of the platform are;

i. To facilitate timely exchange of information between entities intending to carry out civil works and telecommunications operators that have established underground infrastructure.

ii. To reduce delays in civil works and administration by facilitating receipt of timely and reliable information about existing underground communication infrastructure location.

Management of the Underground Communication Infrastructure information Exchange Platform

Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) manages the Underground Communications Infrastructure Information Exchange Platform (UCIIEP).

The platform is financed by UCC and therefore use of the platform for information exchange is free of charge.

Areas of Application

The information exchange platform facilitates timely exchange of information between entities intending to carry out digging works and underground Communication infrastructure owners.

The most common reason for using the platform is when planning some kind of digging works where there is a risk of damaging underground communications infrastructure.

It is extremely risky to dig without first submitting an enquiry to underground communication infrastructure owners via the platform. Anyone damaging underground communication infrastructure may be liable to pay compensation.

Categories of Users

Underground Communication Infrastructure owners

Underground communication infrastructure owners are licensees holding Public Infrastructure Provider (PIP) licenses as issued by UCC and owning or operating underground communication infrastructure. Click here for registration details

Digging entity/ Contractors

Digging Entity is an entity that carries out Digging/Excavation/Construction works. Click here for registration details

  • Construction works means works usually undertaken by a person carrying on business as a contractor in the construction industry or as a professional construction or structural engineer relating to the construction, reconstruction, extension, renovation, alteration, demolition or repair of any building, road, railway, bridge, flyover, sewer or sewage works any soil investigation works
  • Digging works means any works for or relating to the laying, inspection, repairing or renewing of any mains, pipes, cables, fittings or other apparatus.
  • Excavation works means any act of excavating earth, rock or other material, the driving or sinking of any earth rod, casing or tube into the ground, boring, dredging, jacking, levelling, piling or tunneling on or under any premises, road or street by any mechanical means (by whatever means) e.g uprooting of trees.

Kinds of Enquiries

Enquiries on whether Underground communication infrastructure owners have infrastructure in a particular location are of two categories, namely;

Planned

These are scheduled works.

Emergency

Emergency works: These are digging works that require immediate action because;

  • The situation is or may become a public health hazard has occurred,
  • There is obvious risk of personal injury or
  • There is obvious risk for significant property damage.

Emergency Enquiry: This is an enquiry which should be in the platform in case the works to be undertaken are of emergency in nature. Refer to above.

An emergency enquiry gives the underground communication infrastructure owners the contact channels (email and mobile phone numbers) of the digging/excavating/construction entity of the. The underground communication infrastructure owners are expected to immediately contact the digging/excavating/construction entity before works start.

Underground communication infrastructure owners are expected to implement emergency management instructions promptly.

Benefit

With more entities supporting the service, we shall have positive effects in the form of:

1. fewer underground communication infrastructure damages,
2. greater coordination opportunities and
3. good quality communication services.

Security

The platform does not collect information about the exact location of underground communication infrastructure for reasons of security and confidentiality. It only facilitates timely exchange of information between the two entities.

How to become a user

For an entity to register as a users of the platform, they will be required to select an affiliation as categorized below